Iraq wedding fire caused by negligence, says government investigation

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A recent fire in a northern Iraqi wedding hall, resulting in the tragic death of over 100 individuals, has been attributed to “gross negligence” and an absence of proper safety precautions, according to a government probe.

The details of the investigation were disclosed during a news conference on Sunday by interior minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari.

He stated that the venue’s proprietor and three additional employees permitted an excessive 900 attendees into a space intended for a mere 400.

“The fire was accidental and unintentional and occurred due to gross negligence”, were the words from the official findings.

“Utilising combustible decorations contributed to the fire’s rapid acceleration, converting the hall into a veritable inferno”, added Shammari.

Concerns about the Iraq wedding fire: Were safety measures ignored?

The conflagration trapped numerous guests inside, with emergency services finding it challenging to access the site due to limited and undersized exit routes.

Shammari confirmed that at least 150 individuals sustained injuries during the incident which occurred in the Christian town of Hamdaniya, also referred to as Qaraqosh.

The final death toll was determined to be 107, with recommendations from the investigative committee suggesting financial aid for the families affected.

Furthermore, the report also advocated for potential legal actions against specific local authorities.

In response to the tragic event, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani paid a visit to two local medical facilities where the injured were being treated, vowing to bring the culprits to justice.

About the Hamdaniya (Qaraqosh) region

Hamdaniya, popularly known as Qaraqosh, is a Christian town in northern Iraq. It has a rich history and has faced challenges, including occupation by the Islamic State.

IFSJ Comment

The devastating incident in Iraq highlights the absolute necessity for stringent fire safety measures in public venues worldwide.

When venues overlook or bypass essential precautions, the results can be catastrophic.

The scale of this tragedy underscores the urgency of ensuring safety regulations are met and regularly reviewed.

It is crucial for communities globally to learn from such events to prevent their recurrence.

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