A fire accident at the venue of a Christian wedding ceremony in northern Iraq killed at least 100 people and injured 150 others on Tuesday night. According to authorities, the death toll is expected to increase.
This fire accident occurred in Iraq’s Nineveh province’s Hamdaniya area. Only charred metal and debris could be seen after the fire was put down.
Iraq Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation into the fire and asked the country’s Interior and Health officials to provide relief.
There was no immediate official word on the cause of the blaze but initial reports by the Kurdish television news channel Rudaw suggested fireworks at the venue may have sparked the fire.
Civil defence officials quoted by the Iraqi News Agency described the wedding hall’s exterior as being decorated with highly flammable cladding that was illegal in the country.
The fire was the latest disaster to strike Iraq’s shrinking Christian minority, who are targeted by Islamic extremists like al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
The number of Christians in Iraq today is estimated at 150,000, compared to 1.5 million in 2003.