Government officials on Thursday announced the arrest of 14 people, including the owners of the events hall, over Tuesday night’s fire at a wedding in northern Iraq, and promised a swift investigation with results announced within 72 hours.
Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani visited victims of the blaze at two local hospitals on Thursday and said he directed that the strictest-possible legal penalties be imposed “on those who were negligent and responsible for the tragic fire incident.”
According to a statement from the prime minister’s media office, he announced seven directives and urgent measures taken following the fatal blaze in the Hamdaniya district of Nineveh province.
Al-Sudani said an investigative committee was formed, which will immediately begin investigating the causes of the accident and effectively uncover areas of negligence.
He also directed relevant authorities to prepare an accurate list of the victims and their families, to ensure they receive their legal rights and are financially compensated.
The prime minister declared a three-day mourning period for all institutions in the country to mourn those who lost their lives and condole their loved ones.
He promised that the Civil Defense Directorate will continue to inspect the structural safety of “large buildings, malls, restaurants, event halls, and hotels” to identify potential risks and rectify any safety violations.
The 72-hour period for the investigation to announce a result ends on Sunday.