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Government investigation: A wedding fire in Iraq was caused by “gross negligence”

Government investigation: A wedding fire in Iraq was caused by “gross negligence”

BAGHDAD, Oct. 1 (Reuters) – The fire that swept through a crowded wedding hall in a northern Iraqi town, killing more than 100 people, was attributed to “gross negligence” and a lack of safety measures, the results of a government investigation into the disaster said. .

The results of the investigation announced by Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari in a press conference on Sunday said that the owner of the hall and three other employees allowed 900 people to enter the place when it was designed to accommodate a maximum of 400 people.

The results of the investigation said: “The fire was accidental and unintentional and occurred due to gross negligence.”

Al-Shammari said: “The use of flammable decorations helped the fire spread quickly and turn the hall into a fireball.”

Al-Shammari said that the fire trapped people inside the wedding hall, and rescue teams tried to reach them because the exit doors were few and small.

At least 150 people were injured in the fire that broke out in the Christian town of Hamdaniya – also known as Qaraqosh.

The Interior Minister estimated the death toll at 107 and said that the investigation committee suggested that the government provide financial support to the families of the dead and wounded.

The investigation also made recommendations that legal action should be taken against local officials.

Prime Minister Mohamed Shiaa Al-Sudani visited fire victims at two local hospitals on Thursday and pledged to hold those responsible accountable.

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Report: Ahmed Rashid. Edited by Jane Merriman

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