16 Jul 2010

At least 29 die in Iraq hotel fire

9:05 pm on 16 July 2010

Officials in Iraq say that at least 29 people have died in a hotel fire in the city of Sulaimaniya, in the Kurdish autonomous region.

Several of the victims are said to have died after jumping out of windows to escape the flames that swept through the hotel late on Thursday.

Police say a number of foreigners are among the dead, whom some reports say may number as many as 40, the BBC says.

City officials say it was likely that the fire was started by an electrical fault, with no indication that it was a result of a terror attack.

Hospital officials told the AFP news agency that four Americans were among the dead. Also reportedly killed were engineers from Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the Philippines, and at least one Canadian.

It is thought that some of the dead work for international oil companies in the region.