Survivors recount how 'disastrous' fire engulfed Iraq wedding hall

MENA

Published: 2023-09-27 16:59

Last Updated: 2024-06-16 07:45


Survivors recount how 'disastrous' fire engulfed Iraq wedding hall
Survivors recount how 'disastrous' fire engulfed Iraq wedding hall

A guest and a restaurant worker describe the moments following a fire that ripped through a crowded wedding hall, killing at least 100 people in Iraq's northern town of Qaraqosh. 

One of the wedding guests, Rawnaq Sabeeh, said: "The fireworks started and there were feather decorations hanging from the ceiling that caught fire. The hall’s manager opened the door and there was just a huge fire. I was sitting inside and I managed to get to the door within seconds. My family was inside as well, and we began dragging them outside. We were screaming, the fire was absolutely disastrous."

A worker at the wedding hall restaurant, Martin Shlameh, said: "I saw my brother, who works with me, open the door and scream for us to get out. The air conditioner exploded above our heads. The situation was indescribable, people were burning and screaming right before my eyes."

Shlameh continued: "My brother and I were able to help three women who had caught fire, and then we evacuated two men. It was like a car bomb or a furnace has exploded."