According to Reuters, the fire started about an hour into a wedding celebration that followed the ceremony. A video of the incident appears to show a ceiling decoration burst into flames as the bride and groom were dancing, causing the hundreds of attendees to panic.
Firefighters reportedly did not arrive at the scene until 30 minutes after the fire started. As of this writing, Nineveh province Deputy Governor Hassan al-Allaf confirmed that 113 people have died.
Iraq president Abdul Latif Rashid has called for an investigation into the incident. An arrest warrant has been issued for the owners of the wedding hall amid claims that the structure was not capable of handling such an event. One of those individuals has reportedly been taken into custody.
Preliminary investigations suggest the building was made of highly flammable construction materials, as reported by state media. Three people who attended the wedding said there were few exits and no visible fire extinguishers.
Several reports indicate the bride and groom survived the fire. The bodies of those who died were left in bags outside the morgue as they waited to be taken away in vehicles after being identified by friends and relatives.