Fireworks Set Off at Wedding Spark Blaze That Kills 113

Iraq tragedy leaves 150 people injured as well
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2023 12:30 AM CDT
Fireworks Set Off at Wedding Spark Blaze That Kills 113
A view shows the aftermath of a fire that broke out during a wedding celebration, in the district of Hamdaniya, Nineveh province, Iraq, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.   (AP Photo/Farid Abdulwahed)

More than 100 people are dead after a devastating blaze that reportedly broke out after fireworks were set off at a wedding in Iraq Tuesday night. Health officials in Nineveh, the province where the wedding took place, put the death toll at 113 or 114. Another 150 people were injured, the BBC reports. Hundreds of people were attending the wedding at an events hall when the fire broke out, and officials have warned the number of those killed or hurt could rise, the Guardian reports.

"We saw the fire pulsating, coming out of the hall. Those who managed got out and those who didn't got stuck," one guest who escaped the blaze tells Reuters. "Even those who made their way out were broken." Iraq's prime minister says he told officials to "mobilize all efforts to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate incident." People were lining up at a nearby hospital to donate blood for the victims.

According to an Iraqi official, "the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when fire breaks out" contributed to the tragedy, quickly causing parts of the hall to collapse, including the ceiling. Video from the scene showed firefighters climbing over charred rubble to search for survivors. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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