Tragic Fire in Hamdaniya Wedding Hall Claims Over 100 Lives, Injures More Than 150
Kurdish and Iraqi Leaders Extend Condolences and Promise Investigation
A devastating fire broke out at a wedding hall in the Hamdaniya district of Nineveh province on late Tuesday, resulting in a heartbreaking loss of over 100 lives and leaving more than 150 individuals injured, according to preliminary reports. The incident is believed to have been triggered by fireworks, as confirmed by Saad Hammad, spokesperson for the Nineveh civil defense.
Kurdish Leadership Expresses Grief and Support
Leaders from the Kurdish region, including Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani, Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, expressed their profound sadness and condolences to the families of the victims. They also extended their wishes for a swift recovery for the wounded.
President Nechirvan Barzani stated, "In this difficult and painful time, our thoughts are with them, and we are ready to help them."
Iraqi Response and Investigation
Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid also extended his condolences to the affected families, emphasizing the necessity of launching a comprehensive investigation into the incident. "We stress the need to open an investigation, find out the circumstances of the incident, and take all safety measures to prevent its recurrence," President Rashid stated.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani issued a series of directives in response to the tragedy, including the formation of an investigative committee to uncover the causes and any negligence surrounding the incident. He further ordered health authorities to ensure the treatment of the injured, whether inside or outside of Iraq, and urged the ministers of interior and health to oversee rescue efforts.
Sudani also instructed relevant authorities to compile a comprehensive list of the victims and their families for financial compensation and called for continued inspections of buildings to ensure they meet safety guidelines.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) expressed shock and sorrow at the loss of life and injuries caused by the fire. They extended their condolences to the affected families and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
Efforts to Apprehend Responsible Parties
Efforts to hold those responsible accountable are underway. A Nineveh military commander revealed that they are in contact with Kurdish authorities to apprehend the owner of the Hamdaniya wedding hall, who has reportedly fled. Nine members of the venue's administration have already been arrested, and investigations into the incident continue.
Three-Day National Mourning
In response to the tragic incident, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani declared a three-day mourning period throughout the country in honor of the victims.
Location and Background
The Hamdaniya district, situated approximately 40 kilometers southeast of Mosul, is known for its Christian majority population. The devastating fire has brought profound grief to the community and the entire region.
The situation is ongoing, and authorities continue their efforts to provide support to the affected families, investigate the incident, and prevent similar tragedies in the future.