Hundreds of people were killed and injured last night as a result of a fire in a wedding hall during a wedding in the Al-Hamdaniya district in Nineveh Governorate, northern Iraq. Initial investigations revealed the causes of the disaster, most notably the violation of safety rules.
Official Iraqi sources provided varying numbers for the number of victims of the fire, which is considered among the worst fires that Iraq has witnessed in recent years.
Nineveh Governor Najm al-Jubouri said that at least 114 people were killed and about 200 were injured as a result of the Hamdaniyah fire, east of the city of Mosul.
Al-Jubouri added that preliminary investigations indicate that the fire was caused by fireworks inside the hall.
For his part, the head of the Security Media Cell in Iraq said that 93 people were killed and 100 injured in the fire.
The Iraqi official added that there were no indications of criminal intent in the Hamdaniyah fire, noting that 9 people had been arrested in connection with the incident.
The Commander of Nineveh Operations, Major General Abdullah Al-Jubouri, also confirmed the arrest of 9 people working in the management of the wedding hall, saying that the federal security forces are coordinating with the Kurdistan Regional authorities in order to reach the owner of the hall, who lives in the city of Erbil and an arrest warrant was issued against him.
Regarding the circumstances of the fire, the Director of Civil Defense Media in Iraq told Al Jazeera that the wedding hall in Al-Hamdaniya lacked safety measures, noting that the difficulty of exiting the door of the building led to a high number of victims.
The civil defense official said that the emergency doors in the wedding hall in Al-Hamdaniya were closed at the time of the fire.
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