An investigation is underway into a video clip showing a young man making the “victory” sign during the Hamdaniyah wedding hall fire accident, but official sources who spoke to KirkukNow ask for caution and waiting for the results of the investigations and deny what social media sites are trying to portray regarding the video clip.
Over the past two days, social media platforms and some media outlets have widely circulated the video clip, which raises doubts about the incident, and in this context, officials in Nineveh province and Hamdaniya district began investigating the video clip.
Saad Al-Khattabi, spokesman for the Civil Defense in Nineveh, told (KirkukNow) they conducted an investigation into the video clip in which a person appears raising his hands and making the victory sign.
According to preliminary investigations, we believe that the movement that the young man did was spontaneous and not intentional
“The video is not fabricated, but it does not appear that the movement was intentional. According to preliminary investigations, we believe that the movement that the young man did was spontaneous and not intentional, but the investigation is continuing.”
Regarding the new information regarding the accident, he said, “The wedding hall was built on public land. Civil Defense instructions were violated and safety conditions were not observed, but the investigations have not yet been completed.”
On the night of September 26, a fire broke out in a wedding hall in the Hamdaniya district of Nineveh Governorate during a wedding party, killing more than 110 people and injuring over 200.
In light of the incident, the owner of the hall and eight other people were arrested and are being investigated. The Iraqi government has also formed a higher committee, and the results of the investigations are scheduled to be revealed on Sunday, October 1, according to the spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior.
Over the past two days, the video clip has spread on social media, and some in the comments expressed their doubts about the reasons for the accident.
Rifaat Samo, Deputy Governor of Nineveh, told KirkukNow, “Many rumors have spread that have not been confirmed. Even the doubts raised about the video clip are not true and have not been documented.”
“They are all rumors circulated by people and social media sites. We must think carefully to find out what is true. All relevant authorities are in the process of investigating. It is better not to get ahead of things,” he added.
"The nine people who were arrested are being investigated. Soon the facts will be revealed. We promise the families of the victims that we will inform them of the facts."
On the night of the accident, Civil Defense attributed the accident to the use of fireworks inside the hall and stressed the lack of safety conditions there.
Ammar Yako, official of the Great Immaculate Church in Hamdaniya - most of the victims were Christians - said regarding the incident and the circulating rumors, “We cannot say that there are hands or a specific party standing behind the incident, as some are trying to portray, we are dealing with official matters, awaiting the results of the committee’s investigations which was formed by the government to investigate the facts.”
“We believe that this committee will perform its tasks well and accurately. When the committee’s work is completed and the results are revealed, then we will have something to say.”
Hamdaniyah district, located southeast of Mosul, is predominantly Christian, while many villages are inhabited by the Shabak and the Ezidis (Yazidis).