Nearly 100 people were killed and dozens injured after a fire broke out in a wedding hall in Nineveh province, Iraq.


At least 93 people were killed and 100 injured in a fire at a wedding venue in northern Iraq on Wednesday, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan.

The fire broke out at a wedding venue in the Christian-majority town of Hamdania, just outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, about 205 miles northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Fireworks inside the venue sparked the deadly fire, according to emergency services and witnesses at the scene.

People gather at the scene after a deadly fire broke out at a wedding ceremony in Hamdania district, Nineveh province, Iraq, on September 27, 2023.

Khalid Al-Mossil/Reuters


The emergency rescue service in Nineveh province told reporters that “the speed of the fire took everyone by surprise due to highly flammable building materials and highly flammable decorations and curtains covering the roof and walls”.

Video streamed live on social media showed the sudden fire causing panic among guests dancing in the ballroom, sending people including the bride and groom running for safety.

About 700 people inside the building found themselves trapped as flames broke out near the main entrance.

“Immediately after the fire, it was a blackout, and the smoke and screams created chaos. People were suffocating, falling and running over each other,” an eyewitness told reporters. ” “Soon after, part of the roof collapsed, causing more deaths and injuries.”

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation into the fire and asked the country’s interior and health ministries to provide assistance, his office said in a statement posted online.

People gather at the scene after a deadly fire broke out at a wedding ceremony in Hamdania district, Nineveh province, Iraq, on September 27, 2023.

Khalid Al-Mossil/Reuters


A source in the provincial government in Nineveh told CBS News that an investigation will be conducted not only to determine how the fire started, but also “how and what license the venue had given the poor security conditions.” was.”

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media about the incident, said the owner of the venue was “in hiding” and hoped the individual would be found. The incident will have to be faced. “An investigation into the legality of operating such an unsafe location.”

Iraq has suffered similar tragedies in the recent past, blamed on poor construction materials and inadequate safety standards, including two major fires in hospital wards for COVID-19 patients in Baghdad and Nasiriyah. Dozens of people were killed.

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