At least 100 people have been reported killed and more than 150 injured in a fire at a wedding celebration in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, the Reuters news agency reported, citing state media in Iraq.
Health authorities in Nineveh province “have counted 100 dead and more than 150 injured in the fire at a marriage hall in Al-Hamdaniyah”, the official Iraqi press agency INA reported early on Wednesday, citing a “preliminary” death toll.
Iraq’s civil defence said that initial reports indicate that fireworks used during the ceremony may have been the cause of the blaze that ripped through the large event hall located just outside of the northern city of Mosul, some 400 km (around 250 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad.
Video footage from the site of the fire showed firefighters clambering over the charred wreckage of the building in search of survivors.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed, reporting from Baghdad, said that flammable material used in the construction of the event hall is suspected to have contributed to the huge blaze.
Ambulances and medical crews were dispatched to the site by federal Iraqi authorities and authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, according to official statements.
More to follow soon.