A wedding celebration in Nineveh province, northern Iraq, was engulfed in flames, resulting in the loss of over a hundred lives and leaving around 150 individuals wounded.
Officials allegedly stated that the fire could potentially be attributed to the fireworks employed during the festivities, leading to the arrest of multiple individuals.
Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari informed reporters that, “The hall did not meet safety criteria. Because of the fireworks the ceiling collapsed on the people in the hall.
“Justice will be served to those who were negligent.”
Online video footage depicted the couple dancing on the dance floor just moments before fiery debris started descending onto the same floor. Additionally, firefighters were observed navigating through the remains of the structure in their quest to locate survivors on Wednesday morning.
The Iraqi Joint Operations Command Spokesperson Major General Pilot Tahseen Al Khafaji told CNN that there were 1,300 guests when the blaze broke out.
People who managed to escape the fire were relocated to medical facilities in both Nineveh and the neighboring Kurdistan area, however, the exact number of casualties, both fatalities and injuries, has not been established yet.
While there are conflicting reports about the state of the bride and groom, the couple allegedly are alive but have suffered burns.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, announced that there will be inspections conducted on the construction and thorough examinations of safety protocols. Additionally, he declared a period of three days for the nation to mourn.
Furthermore, Al Jazeera has conveyed that Russian leader Vladimir Putin extended his sympathies to the Iraqi President, Abdul Latif Rashid, and Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, expressing his condolences for the individuals affected by the Nineveh fire.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, as well as other notable authorities, has expressed his sympathies to the leadership of Iraq and its citizens following the tragic fire incident.