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September 29, 2023[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Baghdad/Al-Masala Event: After a fire broke out during a wedding ceremony in one of the wedding halls in the Al-Hamdaniya district in the Iraqi Nineveh Governorate, questions began as to whether the material used in building the wedding hall, known as Alicobond, was what helped fuel the fire, causing it to ignite throughout the hall. .
Immediately after the outbreak of the fire, reports reported that “the fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall, as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when a fire breaks out.”
In this regard, Dr. Taghlib Abdel Hadi Al-Waeli, an Iraqi architect and urban planner residing in Canada, says, according to the BBC, that Alycobond is a cheap material used in construction, its colors are beautiful, and it is easy to install. The owner or investor usually resorts to it to increase his profits, especially since the cost of purchasing it is cheap.
Al-Waeli believes that the use of Alicobond is not the main reason that aggravated the fire, adding that “it is too early to evaluate the incident.”
He says: “From my knowledge of construction methods and the violations (that occur) by the municipality, the reason is the failure of the municipal departments to follow up on construction of this type, especially since the building materials used are flammable materials and are not fire-resistant.”
The Iraqi architect and academic, Dr. Muwaffaq Jawad Al-Taie, and Dr. Taghlib Abdul Hadi Al-Waeli, share the opinion that the use of Alkybond is not the main reason behind the fire.
Al-Taie says that there are several reasons that increased the fire, but “the main reason is the use of fireworks, because when they are used inside a large hall like this, the matter becomes more complicated, especially since the building materials are not fire-resistant and will not resist for a quarter of an hour.”
Dr. Taghlib Abdul Hadi Al-Waeli also says, “There are also shortcomings and misconduct on the part of the party’s management for using fireworks in this place.”
Reem Ghassan, a community activist in the Peace and Freedom Organization, speaking from Al-Hamdaniya District, said that the organization received relief calls from some victims immediately after the fire broke out in the hall, during which they asked to find escape exits.
She added, “There are only two exit doors: the main door and the kitchen door.” The situation was disastrous because during the first moments of the fire, those present were calling to ask about tractors to break the walls so that they could get out of the midst of the burning flames.
In response to this, Dr. Al-Waeli says, “Fire exits are not carefully studied, if they exist at all.”
Dr. Al-Taie also wonders, “Is it possible for a (building) permit to include fire-safe doors, especially since there are no safe exits,” adding that the people who issue building permits or permits in some governorates of Iraq may not be specialists and may not be architects.
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