AT least 100 people have been killed after a horror inferno ripped through a wedding ceremony in Iraq.
The raging blaze erupted after fireworks were set off in the hall moments before the bride and groom's first dance, it is understood.
Witnesses said the entire venue was totally engulfed in flames "in seconds" as panicked guests fled.
Authorities in the Hamdaniya area of Iraq's Nineveh province have confirmed 114 have died, while a further 200 were injured.
Some of those burned included children, and the sound of ambulance sirens filled the air for hours after the fire broke out.
Survivors arrived at local hospitals in bandages, receiving oxygen, as their families milled through hallways and outside as workers organised more oxygen cylinders.
More world news
Mystery as Russia releases footage of ‘killed’ admiral to prove he is ‘ALIVE’
Donald Trump beams as he holds gun with his face etched on the handle
The cause of the fire has not been confirmed, but reports say fireworks tore through the venue moments before flames burst out.
Kurdish television news channel Rudaw aired footage showing fireworks shooting up from the floor of the event and setting a chandelier alight.
In the aftermath of the blaze, only charred metal and debris could be seen as people walked through the scene of the fire.
Other footage shown on other local television networks appeared to show the bride and groom on the dance floor when the fire began Tuesday night, stunned by the sight of the burning debris.
Most read in The Sun
BA pilot snorts coke off topless woman… then tries to fly packed plane to UK
WALLIAMS HITS BACK
David Walliams SUES BGT bosses after he was axed over X-rated rant
Female staff member dies after tragic accident at Center Parcs
Married At First Sight groom calls in police after bride ‘cut up his clothes’
One injured woman told Rudaw from a hospital gurney: "They were about to do a slow dance and then they lit up this thing for the dance which caught fire."
Another man injured in the fire at the hospital similarly told Rudaw that the blaze started as the couple prepared for their slow dance.
"They lit up fireworks," he said.
"It hit the ceiling, which caught fire. The entire hall was on fire in seconds."
Ahmed Dubardani, a health official in the province, said many of those injured suffered serious burns.
"The majority of them were completely burned and some others had 50 to 60 per cent of their bodies burned," Dubardani said.
"This is not good at all. The majority of them were not in good condition."
Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation into the fire.
Father Rudi Saffar Khoury, a priest at the wedding, said it was unclear who was to blame for the fire.
READ MORE SUN STORIES
I’m a budgeting fan – how to save £1k by Christmas using an easy jar trick
Emmerdale legend teases return to ITV soap seven years after dramatic exit
Civil defence officials quoted by the Iraqi News Agency described the wedding hall's exterior as decorated with highly flammable cladding that is illegal in the country.
The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when the fire breaks out, the authority said.
Source: Read Full Article