More than 100 dead, 150 injured in Iraq wedding inferno


Posted at Sep 27 2023 01:27 PM | Updated as of Sep 27 2023 04:27 PM

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At least 100 people were killed and more than 150 injured when a fire broke out during a wedding at an event hall in the northern Iraqi town of Hamdaniyah, officials said early Wednesday.

Health authorities in Nineveh province, where the town is located, "have counted 100 dead and more than 150 injured in the fire at a marriage hall in Hamdaniyah", the official Iraqi press agency INA reported, citing a "preliminary tally".

"The majority of the injured suffer from burns and asphyxiation," health ministry spokesman Saif Al-Badr said, adding that there had also been crowd crushes at the scene.

Iraqi fire fighters inspect the scene of a fire that broke out at a wedding hall in Hamdaniya, in Iraq's Nineveh province, north of Iraq, Sept. 27, 2023. More than 100 people died and at least 150 are injured after a fire during a Christian wedding celebration in Iraq's Nineveh province. Mohamad Saif EPA-EFE/MOHAMAD SAIF

In a statement, civil defence authorities reported the presence of prefabricated panels inside the event hall that were "highly flammable and contravened safety standards".

The danger was compounded by the "release of toxic gases linked to the combustion of the panels", which contained plastic.