Iraqi wedding fire caused by negligence: authorities

2023-10-02 00:40:45 GMT2023-10-02 08:40:45(Beijing Time) Sina English


Volunteers search for the remains of missing bodies following a fatal fire at a wedding celebration, in the district of Hamdaniya, in Nineveh province, Iraq, September 28, 2023.

The Iraqi authorities on Sunday ruled out intentional causes behind a fire incident at a wedding party in a predominantly Christian town in northern Iraq which took more than a hundred lives.

Saad al-Dulaimi, head of an investigation committee into the Tuesday fire, read the probe result at a press conference held in Baghdad, saying the final toll is 107 deaths and 82 injuries.

The fire broke out Tuesday night after fireworks set off in the wedding hall in the town of al-Hamdaniya, northern province of Nineveh.

The committee found that the venue was overcrowded, and roofed with flammable sandwich panels and decorations made from flammable materials, he said.

"The committee noticed that there were no emergency doors other than the small and insufficient service doors, and no safety supplies, which led to a large fire and heavy losses among the people in the hall," al-Dulaimi said.

Speaking at the press conference, Iraqi Interior Minister's adviser Kadhim Bohan said the incident was "accidental," and the owner of the hall and those responsible for the fireworks should bear responsibility.

The committee also recommended to sack the mayor of al-Hamdaniya and some other officials in the town and Nineveh province for negligence and to bring them to prosecution, Iraqi Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari said at the press conference.