Fifteen people have reportedly died and dozens injured in northern Iraq when a fuel tank exploded causing a building to collapse.
The three-story building collapsed after a leak from a liquefied petroleum gas tank used for heating triggered a blast.
The explosion shattered the windows and blackened the facade of a neighbouring building.
Confirming the incident, the Provincial Governor, Haval Abu Bakr provided the final toll for Thursday evening’s blast in Sulaimaniyah, the second-largest city of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.
He also declared a day of mourning in the province.
“Most of the victims are women and children as there are no more bodies under the rubble of the house,” he said.
Emergency services still searching for survivors had given an earlier toll of 11, but several hours later the city’s emergency response chief Saman Nader announced the end of operations with 15 bodies found in total.
However, the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Bafel Jalal Talabani, in power in Sulaimaniyah, has promised to finance the reconstruction of the building and those nearby.
He also said he would cover the medical bills of any injured needing care abroad, his party’s website said.
Adding that much of war-ravaged Iraq’s infrastructure is dilapidated and tragedies are common.
The country also suffers from poorly enforced safety standards, particularly in the transport and construction sectors.