Published: 2023-10-01 22:15
Last Updated: 2023-12-02 20:49
Officials in northern Iraq were fired for "failures in the exercise of their duties" after a fire claimed the lives of 107 people during a wedding, announces Interior Minister Abdel Amir al-Shammari during a press conference.
He explained: "While there were no emergency exits, the hall's owner thought that a short circuit had started the fire, so he cut the electricity which had a significant impact. This provoked chaos, panic and stampede during evacuation process."
Shammari continued: "The mayor of Hamdaniyah (Qaraqosh) was negligent. The hall built illegally on the land, as documented in the investigation report based on gathered testimonies, but he authorized its operation without obtaining approval from other institutions."
"[It has been decided] to sack the municipal director of Hamdaniyah, Rami Khodr Boules Moussa, due to his proven negligence, dereliction of duty, and failure to carry out his job responsibilities; and to refer his case to the competent court in order to take the necessary legal action against him, in accordance with the law," he said.
He added that "The committee has discovered four damaged and burnt pyrotechnic devices, which were used for launching fireworks at the wedding, according to eyewitnesses. The investigation has established that this was the main cause of the fire, based on collected video footage. These confiscated devices shot showers of sparks four meters high, and this was the distance that allowed them to reach the hall's ceiling, ultimately leading to the fire."