At least 100 people have died in a fire at a wedding event, a government agency said

(CNN) –– At least 100 people were killed and 150 injured in a fire at a wedding event in Qaraqosh village of Hamdania district in Iraq, state news agency INA reported, citing local officials.

Earlier, Iraq’s Civil Defense announced in a statement that at least a dozen people had died.

The disaster at the Al Haitham wedding hall in the northeastern Nineveh governorate was caused by fireworks, candles and other items used during the celebration, the statement added.

Nineveh Governor Najm al-Jubouri told INA that the injured were transferred to hospitals in Nineveh and Kurdistan Region.

“The final number of dead and injured is not yet available,” al-Jubouri said, according to state media.

Videos of the scene show thick smoke billowing from the building as crowds and ambulances gather outside.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani asked the interior and health ministers to do everything possible to help those affected by the fire, according to a statement from his office.

The Iraqi president contacted the governor of Nineveh by phone about the incident and ordered full mobilization to help the victims, his office and INA said.

The guest says the bride and groom are devastated but safe

A guest at the event told private Iraqi channel Alawla TV that the wedding couple were devastated but safe.

“The bride and groom are fine, I was with them now, but the condition of the people here is very bad, seeing what happened,” the person said.

There are no security facilities in the wedding hall

The wedding hall was covered with highly flammable Ecobond panels, which violated the requirements of safety instructions, Iraqi state news agency INA reported, citing the Iraqi Civil Defense.

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The report said: The wedding hall was covered with highly flammable ecobond panels, which violated safety instructions and lacked safety requirements for wet alarm and fire extinguishers in violation of Civil Defense Act No. 2013. 44 referred to the Judiciary. Organizations in Al-Hamdaniyya Region in Nineveh Governorate.”

“As a result of the use of highly flammable and cheap construction materials, parts of the collapsing room collapsed within minutes of the fire,” the statement added.

UN offers condolences

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq on Tuesday expressed its condolences to the families of those killed and injured in a wedding fire in northeastern Iraq’s Hamdaniya district.

“Shocked and saddened by the loss of life and injuries in the fire in Hamdania, Nineveh. A great tragedy,” said the UN Secretary-General for Iraq. The support team said this Wednesday on Twitter, called X.

— CNN’s Mohammad Tawfeeq, Nesirvan Mando and Aqeel Nazim contributed to this report.

Esmond Harmon

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