At least 100 people have died and 150 others injured after a fire broke out at a wedding in northern Iraq.
Hundreds of people were celebrating in Al-Hamdaniya in Iraq’s northern Nineveh province when the fire tore through the venue late on Tuesday evening.
It is unknown what caused the blaze, but early reports say it broke out after fireworks were lit.
Flammable panels in the venue may have fuelled the flames, causing ceiling parts to catch fire and fall.
“The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall due to the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when a fire breaks out,” Iraq’s civil defence directorate said, quoted by state news agency INA.
It was unclear if the bride and the groom were among the victims. Initial reports in Iraqi media said they had died in the blaze, with news agency Nina later reporting that they were alive but were being treated for burns.
A photo posted by Nina showed dozens of firefighters battling the fire, and pictures from local journalists on social media show the charred-out remains inside the event hall.
Firefighters could be seen climbing over the wreckage of the building in search of survivors on Wednesday morning.