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Fire Raises Hall, Kills 114 Wedding Guests

The fire that destroyed a wedding hall in the Hamdaniya neighborhood of Nineveh Province, a predominantly Christian area near to Mosul, resulted in no less than 114 fatalities and 100 further injuries in Iraq

The fatal incident, which occurred on Wednesday, was captured on television footage showing the wedding hall on fire. Civil defense officials claimed that the wedding hall was filled with combustible cladding that was not permitted, according to VOA

People walking through the scene of the fire could only see burned metal and debris; the only sources of light were television cameras and cell phones

Saif al-Badr, a spokesman for the health ministry, stated on the publicly owned Iraqi News Agency that “every effort is being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident.” The Nineveh Province’s health department estimated 114 fatalities

Regional hospitals are caring for the wounded, who have varying degrees of injury. Some survivors have already checked into local hospitals, where they are receiving oxygen and bandages while being occupied by uprooted family members

Iraqi authorities issued a warning that the death toll could increase because exact numbers of casualties have not yet been calculated

At the time of publication, no official information regarding the origin of the fire outbreak was available, although early reports by the Kurdish television news channel Rudaw stated that pyrotechnics at the location may have been the cause

Iraq’s prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, issued a statement ordering an investigation into the incident and for the interior and health ministry personnel to provide aid

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