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Over 100 killed in wedding fire in northern Iraq

Investigators in northern Iraq are trying to establish the exact cause of a fire at a wedding party that killed more than 100 people.
Iraqi civil defence officials say initial findings suggest fireworks were lit during the celebration inside a hall in the Qaraqosh district.
Many of those who were injured have to be taken long distances for medical treatment – and some relatives have been left looking for family members missing after the fire.
The exterior of the wedding hall that went up in flames is said to have been found to have been covered in cladding that is highly combustible and illegal in the country.
Cladding is a layer of protection from extreme heat or cold that is applied on the external surface of buildings. It can also be used for aesthetic purposes.
A type of cladding that uses metal composite and unmodified polyethylene was blamed for the quick spread of a fire that razed London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017, killing 72 people.
It is unclear why flammable cladding was used in the wedding hall but reports suggest long-festering corruption has allowed builders to violate safety standards, resulting to disasters such as fires.

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