A tragic fire outbreak marred a wedding celebration, resulting in the loss of more than a hundred lives and leaving another 150 injured.. This heartbreaking incident unfolded in Nineveh province, the largest Christian town in Iraq, during what should have been a joyous occasion.
The exact cause of the fire remains a mystery, although there are reports suggesting that fireworks may have triggered the inferno. The fire swiftly engulfed the venue due to flammable panels, leading to sections of the ceiling collapsing.
The Iraq Civil Defence Directorate expressed deep concern about the use of highly flammable, inexpensive building materials that disintegrated within minutes of the fire’s eruption. The fate of the bride and groom remains uncertain.
Disturbing footage captured the couple dancing moments before flaming debris rained down onto the dance floor. Brave firefighters worked tirelessly to search through the wreckage for survivors.
Eyewitnesses recounted the horrifying night when hundreds of guests found themselves trapped as the fire erupted at around 22:45 local time. Imad Yohana, a survivor, described the chaotic scene, characterizing the fire as “pulsating” and highlighting the devastating impact on those struggling to escape.
Rania Waad, who suffered burns to her hand, shared her terrifying experience, recalling that fireworks set off the blaze as the bride and groom danced slowly. The entire hall quickly turned into an inferno, leaving guests disoriented and struggling for air.
One survivor’s harrowing account shed light on the anguish of searching for missing family members amidst the chaos, with loved ones lost in the tragic event.
In response to this catastrophe, Iraq’s president conveyed condolences on social media and called for unified efforts to assist the affected individuals. The prime minister pledged to conduct building inspections and scrutinize safety procedures, with a commitment to holding those responsible accountable.
The exact number of casualties remains uncertain, with varying reports. The deputy governor of Nineveh confirmed 113 fatalities, while the Red Crescent humanitarian group estimated nearly 450 casualties in total. Regional authorities fear that the toll may increase.
Injured survivors were transported to hospitals across the Nineveh region, with many generously donating blood to help their fellow citizens. The city of Mosul, still recovering from the aftermath of ISIS occupation, faced challenges in responding to the crisis due to a shortage of logistical resources.
Qaraqosh, once the largest Christian town in Iraq, has a painful history, having fallen to ISIS in 2014, which led to mass exodus and persecution. Although it has since been liberated, the town continues its reconstruction efforts, with numerous homes yet to be rebuilt.
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