Tragic Fire Erupts at Wedding in Northern Iraq, Claiming Lives of Over 100 People


Hamdaniya District, Northern Iraq — In a devastating incident, a fire broke out at a wedding celebration in the Hamdaniya district of northeast Nineveh governorate, resulting in a loss of over 100 lives and leaving approximately 150 individuals injured, as reported by the Iraqi state news agency INA, citing local authorities.

The catastrophe, ignited by fireworks, candles, and other celebratory materials, swiftly engulfed the venue, identified as the Al Haytham Wedding Hall. Distressing videos from the scene depict thick plumes of smoke billowing from the site while emergency services, including ambulances, rushed to the scene.

Governor Najm Al-Jubouri of Nineveh conveyed to INA that the wounded have been promptly transported to hospitals within Nineveh and the Kurdistan region. He added, "There is no final count of the deceased and injured yet," highlighting the ongoing efforts to assess the full extent of the tragedy.

Heartbreakingly, while many lives were lost, it was confirmed that the bride and groom emerged unscathed physically but deeply affected by the incident. A wedding guest, speaking to the private Iraqi channel Alawla TV, stated, "The bride and groom are fine. I was just with them now, but their condition is devastating due to what happened to people here."

Disturbingly, investigations have revealed that the wedding hall was sheathed in highly flammable Ecobond panels, which violated safety instructions and requirements, according to the Iraqi Civil Defense, as reported by ANI. The use of such materials, which rapidly disintegrate in the face of fire, led to the collapse of parts of the hall.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani has taken swift action, instructing his cabinet to extend all possible aid to those affected by this tragic incident. His office, in coordination with INA, confirmed that he has been in direct communication with Nineveh governor regarding the situation, ensuring a comprehensive mobilization to support the victims.

Expressing their deep condolences, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq acknowledged the immense tragedy and conveyed their sympathies to the grieving families. In a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), they expressed being "shocked and pained by the horrible loss of life and injuries in the fire," underscoring the gravity of the situation.