IslamNews – Mishaps during an annual fire festival in Iran have left at least 10 people dead and hundreds more injured around the country, state TV reported Wednesday.
State TV reported the casualties Wednesday but news outlets including the semiofficial ISNA said the deaths happened over a period of several weeks. Many of the deaths and injuries occurred during the production and preparation of firecrackers, according to reports.
Officials said the casualties were the result of disregarding safety measures.
The annual festival begins on the Tuesday before Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which will be celebrated on Saturday this year. The ritual dates to at least 1700 B.C. and is linked to Zoroastrianism, which was the predominant religion of the nation before Islam.