On 15 July 2010, a fire at the Hotel Soma in the city of Sulimanya caused the death of 28 people and injured 22. The dead comprised 14 Iraqi nationals and 14 foreign nationals. The foreign nationals were from Canada, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ecuador, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. One victim remained to be identified. The President of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, issued a statement of condolence and asked the authorities of the KRG to investigate the causes of the fire and to take steps to prevent the reoccurrence of such a tragedy. The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has called the KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih with a message of sympathy and an offer of help to the KRG to deal with the tragedy.
The Prime Minister, Barham Salih, has already visited the scene of the accident and the hospital where the injured are being treated. The Prime Minister said: "Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this tragic accident and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured."
He added: "I have ordered an immediate investigation into the accident to establish the causes of the fire and assess the emergency procedures that followed. We will spare no effort in making sure such tragedies do not occur in the future."
The Prime Minister also ordered an immediate review of fire safety measures at all public buildings in the city of Sulimanya and the Kurdistan Region. The KRG is working closely with the embassies and consulates of the countries concerned to inform the next of kin and facilitate the repatriation of the bodies.
This has been distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government. More information is available at the US Department of Justice, Washington, DC.