A tragic incident unfolded at a wedding in Iraq’s Nineveh province as a fire erupted during the first dance, claiming over 100 lives.

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A joyous celebration turned into a heartbreaking tragedy as a massive fire broke out during a wedding in Iraq’s Nineveh province, resulting in the loss of at least 114 lives and leaving over 150 people injured. The horrific incident, captured on video, has sent shockwaves through the nation.

The bride and groom, identified as Haneen and Ivan Esho, had just begun their first dance when the fire engulfed the wedding hall. Disturbing footage aired on local television networks showed flames spreading rapidly while the couple was on the dance floor, marking the beginning of a nightmarish ordeal.

Details surrounding the cause of the fire are still emerging. Witnesses reported that pyrotechnics used for the dance may have triggered the blaze, setting a chandelier on fire and rapidly spreading throughout the hall. Survivors shared their harrowing accounts, describing how the event transformed into a scene of chaos and devastation.

Watch the video below:

Iraqi Joint Operations Command Spokesperson Major General Pilot Tahseen Al Khafaji confirmed that approximately 1,300 guests were in attendance when the fire erupted around 10:45 p.m. local time. Guests had gathered at the banquet hall after a church service, and tragically, within an hour, the celebratory atmosphere turned into one of horror.

Iraq’s Ministry of Interior issued a statement attributing the rapid spread of the fire to the use of fireworks during the wedding ceremony. Additionally, the presence of highly flammable Ecobond panels on the hall’s ceiling, a violation of building codes, exacerbated the situation. Toxic gas emissions from these panels added to the casualties and injuries.

The tragedy has prompted an official investigation, with warrants already issued for the arrest of the hall’s owners. Heartbroken family members of the victims are mourning their loved ones, with some criticizing the lack of safety measures in the hall.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has ordered an investigation into the incident and called for relief efforts to assist the injured. The death toll is expected to rise as many of the injured remain in critical condition, suffering from severe burns.

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This horrifying event has left Iraq in mourning, as the nation grapples with the devastating loss of life during what should have been a day of celebration and joy.