• World - Asia
  • Updated: September 27, 2023

Over 100 Killed At Wedding Celebration In Iraq’s Al-Hamdaniya

Over 100 Killed At Wedding Celebration In Iraq’s Al-Hamdan

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, a joyous celebration in Al-Hamdaniya, located in Iraq's northern Nineveh province, descended into tragedy when a fire engulfed the venue.

More than 100 people have been killed and 150 people injured in the fire, Iraqi state media reported on Wednesday. The health department in Nineveh put the death toll at 114. Health ministry spokesperson Saif al-Badr had earlier put the number of injured at 150.

The exact cause of the devastating blaze remains unknown, but early reports suggest that it ignited after fireworks were lit during the festivities.

“The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when fire breaks out," Iraq's civil defense directorate said, quoted by state news agency INA.

Tragically, initial uncertainty surrounded the fate of the bride and groom, but a local health official later confirmed at a press conference that they had tragically lost their lives in the blaze.

Eyewitnesses recounted the harrowing scene, with hundreds of people present to celebrate when the fire erupted. Imad Yohana, a 34-year-old survivor, vividly described the terrifying moment: "We saw the fire pulsating, coming out of the hall. Those who managed got out, and those who didn't got stuck. Even those who made their way out were broken."

Another guest, Rania Waad, who suffered burns on her hand, recalled, "As the bride and groom were slow dancing, fireworks started to climb to the ceiling, and the whole hall went up in flames. We couldn't see anything; we were suffocating, we didn't know how to get out."

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