The event was supposed to be one of joy, but it turned into horror. At least 100 people died in Iraq and 150 others were injured overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday in a fire during a wedding in a village hall in Hamdaniyah, a small town in the north of the country.
Health authorities in Nineveh, the province where Hamdaniyah is located, “have recorded 100 deaths and more than 150 injured,” announced the official Iraqi press agency INA, citing a “preliminary assessment”. Health Ministry spokesperson Saif al-Badr confirmed this report.
The materials of the room in question
At the main hospital in Hamdaniyah, a small predominantly Christian town located east of the metropolis of Mosul, several ambulances arrived, sirens blaring. Dozens of people were gathered in the courtyard of the establishment, relatives of victims or residents who came to donate their blood. Residents were also gathered in front of the open doors of a refrigerated truck carrying several black body bags.
Civil Defense reported the presence of prefabricated panels that were “highly flammable and contravened safety standards” in the party room where the tragedy took place. “The fire caused parts of the ceiling to fall, due to the use of highly flammable and inexpensive construction materials,” according to the same source. “Preliminary information indicates that fireworks were used during a wedding which caused a fire in the venue.”
In Iraq, safety standards are poorly respected, whether in the construction or transport sector. The country, with its infrastructure in disrepair after decades of conflict, is regularly the scene of fires or fatal domestic accidents.
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