UNESCO World Heritage site designation is a positive first step, but violence may keep tourists away, officials say.
At least 21 people have been killed and dozens have been injured in a hotel fire in the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, a local news agency has reported.
The Governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi, told Rudow news agency on Friday that the fire at the Capitol hotel on Gulan street had killed at least 21 people, including foreigners.
Hadi told reporters at the scene that 15 of the victims were Filipino citizens who worked at a massage centre at the hotel. Some of the other victims were from Iraq and Palestine, he said.
According to officials, the fire started in the basement of the building and later spread to the spa area.
Rawand Hawezi, a doctor at the Erbil emergency hospital, told Rudaw that they had received the bodies of seven of the victims.
At least 10 firefighters were also taken to the hospital for treatment after suffering from intense smoke inhalation.