IRAQ: Nineveh Civil Defense implements stringent measures for new construction in wake of wedding hall fire

BAGHDEDE, Iraq — In the wake of the devastating wedding hall fire in the Nineveh Plains town of Baghdede (Qaraqosh / Hamdaniya), Iraq, Khaled Tharwat, the Director of Civil Defense in Nineveh, reaffirmed the commitment of his department to closely monitor the construction of wedding halls and other projects to ensure they adhere to safety standards.

Tharwat emphasized that all projects in Nineveh, whether they are laboratories, hospitals, wedding halls, hotels, or gas stations, will undergo a two-phase inspection process conducted by the Civil Defense. The first inspection serves to document any violations, while the second follow-up occurs after six months to verify the correction of violations.

“In the wake of the tragic incident in Baghdede, we initiated a comprehensive inspection campaign for all projects in Nineveh,” stated Tharwat. “Violations across Nineveh were documented, and any projects found in violation of regulations were immediately halted, with penalties imposed on their owners.”

As a result of this campaign, 160 projects, including 150 wedding halls designed for community and cultural events, were forced to cease their operations. The owners of these non-compliant projects have pledged to rectify safety issues and address violations within a three-month period. Failure to do so will result in the halls facing permanent closure.

Tharwat underscored that, moving forward, the use of flammable materials within these halls will be strictly prohibited.

“From now on, it will not be allowed to use flammable materials in halls, and halls owners will also be forced to install smoke sensors and other fire extinguishing machines,” Tharwat stressed.