Fire devour three people & 150 donums of crops west of Kirkuk

Kirkuk, June 8th, 2021- Fire flames in crop field burns three people to death and swallows 150 donums in a village west of Kirkuk. Karwan Salihi.

By Karwan Salihi in Kirkuk

A sudden fire enflames a truck carrying wheat, close to the 150 donums in the village of Hananat al-Darawish in Riyadh sub-district, 33 km west of Kirkuk around 1 pm Baghdad time.

The fire expands by the blaze to other parts of the field and besieges two women and a teenager harvesting the wheat. In an attempt to control it, the fire surrounds them leaving no exit for escape.

“They called me and said the truck is burning so we tried hard to stop it but in vain since a strong wind accelerated the fire expansion,” Kan’an Nazim, a relative of the three burnt people and one of the owners of the burnt fields said.

House of Kazim is very close to the field. Eyewitnesses told KirkukNow the fire began from the truck all of sudden and yet no idea what was the reason.

A number of people were cooperating to accelerate the harvest. A tractor, combine harvester and truck were nearby.

“Unfortunately, two of my daughters-in-law has burnt to death,” Nazim said.

Ibtihal Ahmed was 23, mother for 2 children, with six-months pregnancy while Intizar Karim was 27, mother of one child. Adnan Abid Ahmed was only 15.

They were in the field when the fire broke out so they tried to control it till they were trapped and surrounded by the fire and burnt, eyewitnesses said.

The three of them were trying to extinguish the fire but they were entrapped and burnt.

“The three of them were trying to extinguish the fire but they were entrapped. Their burns were so severe that they passed away though we took them immediately to the hospital,” Nazim sobbed.

“I wish everything for us would have burnt except them,” moaned Habis Fares, a relative of the victims.

agr. kshtwkal. kirkuk (5)

Kirkuk, June 8th, 2021- Fire flames break out from this vehicle yet so far no one found out the reason behind the fire that has taken lives and farms. Karwan Salihi.

Two other people were burnt slightly and received treatment.

Owners of the fields estimate 150 donums of wheat has burnt.

“Even the 25 tons of wheat harvested into the truck has brunt and only the combine escaped the fire,” Fares added.

“Even the 25 tons of wheat harvested into the truck has brunt and only the combine escaped the fire,” Fares added.

A tractor passing by tried to set a prescribed burn ribbon but couldn’t manage it so he escapes leaving behind his tractor for the fire.

Nazim says they did their best to control the fire but it was useless. They were in such a panic they contact the fire fighters too late.

The poor road that leads the village to the neighbor sub-district made it difficult for the fire brigades to arrive in time. Kirkuk civil defense assigns fire brigades of Taza sub-district, 40 km drive to the blazing village.

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Kirkuk, June 8th, 2021- Fire flames swallow lives, crops and vehicles of the afflicted village. Karwan Salihi.

“Following the fire and sending the victims to the hospital, then they contacted fire fighters whom once arrived, the whole field was burnt and extinguished the truck and the tractor,” said Captain Qais Abdul-Razaq.

The reason of the fire has not been identified and investigations are ongoing, he added.

From the beginning of last May up today, 17 fire incidents have been reported in the crop fields leaving 305 donums burnt and 1,843 donums were rescued, Kirkuk civil defense data shows.

Kirkuk agriculture has set an annual plan to plant one million donums all over the province yet only 700,000 donums were cultivated, said Zuher Ali director of Kirkuk agriculture office.  

He expected 350,000 tons of crops for 2021 while in 2020 over 600,000 tons were produced due to poor rainfall. Kirkuk agriculture study is based on rainfall for 2021 which drooped to 104mm, the least in the last 20 years, compared to 283 mm in 2020 and 535 in 2019.

The oil rich-city of Kirkuk is home to about 1.2 million Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, according to KRG figures in 2018. Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is the center of the disputed territories where Iraqi security forces have taken control in October 2017 following the declaration of defeat of ISIS by Iraqi government.

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