1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Iraq wedding fire kills over 100 people

September 27, 2023

The disaster occurred in the northern Nineveh province. Authorities expect the death toll to climb as emergency workers search for survivors among the wreckage.

Charred wreckage of the wedding hall in northern Iraq
Initial reports blamed the fire on subpar building materialsImage: ZAID AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images

At least 113 people were killed, and more than 150 injured, after a fire broke out at a wedding celebration in northern Iraq on Wednesday.

The disaster occurred in the town of Al-Hamdaniyah near Mosul in Nineveh province.

Video footage showed emergency workers climbing over charred wreckage of the wedding hall searching for survivors.

"All efforts are being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident," a spokesperson for the Health Ministry said.

Ambulances at the wedding hall that burned down in northern Iraq
Many ambulances arrived at the sceneImage: ZAID AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images

What caused the fire?

The fire tore through the building after fireworks were lit during the wedding celebration, local civil defense officials said.

Civil defense authorities reported the use of prefabricated panels that were "highly flammable and contravened safety standards" inside the hall. 

"The fire caused some parts of the ceiling to fall due to the use of highly flammable, low-cost construction materials," a statement from the civil defense authorities said.

Fire fighters in the burnt out wedding hall
Firefighters worked overnight to recover bodiesImage: ZAID AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has ordered a probe into the blaze and has asked the country's interior and health ministries to provide relief, a statement published by his office said. 

The provincial governor of Nineveh, Najim al-Jubouri, said some of the injured had been transferred to regional hospitals.

He added that there were no final casualty figures yet from the fire, which suggests the death toll could still increase.

zc,dvv/wmr (AFP, Reuters)