Hotel fire kills 19 in northern Iraq’s Erbil

A fire at a hotel in the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region killed 19 people including foreigners

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

People gather at the Capitol Hotel, the site of a deadly fire, in Erbil, Iraq February 5, 2016.

Updated Feb 6, 2016

A fire at a hotel in the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region killed 19 people on Friday, the governor of Erbil told a local media network, and the hotel manager said they included foreigners.

Erbil Governor Nevzet Hadi told reporters late Friday that the death toll included 15 Filipinos, three Iraqi nationals and a Palestinian. 

The cause of the fire was not clear, but Hadi said an electrical fault was suspected.

The bodies had been taken to a local government hospital, Hadi said, going on to attribute the deaths to "suffocation and smoke inhalation". 

In an earlier statement, Hadi said the cause of the fire was an electrical short circuit.

Many foreign workers came to Kurdistan after 2003, when the region experienced an oil fuelled economic boom, inviting comparisons with the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

TRTWorld and agencies