A pair of newlyweds from Iraq have been left completely devastated after over 100 people died when a fire broke out at their wedding venue.
Haneen and Ravan held their big day at a venue in Qaracosh, near Mosul, but what was supposed to be a day of jubilation ended in tragedy.
The pair were slow dancing when a fire broke out and ripped through the building, leaving over 100 guests dead and more than 150 injured.
Twenty-seven-year-old groom Revan and eighteen-year-old bride Haneen said they feel “dead inside” after surviving the blaze.
Revan revealed that he lost fifteen members of his family, while saying Haneen “can’t speak” after losing ten of her relatives, including her mother and her brother, with her father in critical condition.
He said that things are so bad they cannot continue to live in their hometown.
“That’s it, we can’t live here anymore. We can’t live here anymore.
“I mean, every time we try to have some happiness, something tragic happens to us and destroys the happiness. So, it’s best for us to leave,” Revan told Sky News.
“It’s true that we’re sitting here in front of you alive. But inside we are dead. We are numb. We are dead inside,” he added.
The wedding, which is reported to have had 900 guests, fell into chaos after a fire broke out at around 10.45pm. Inital reports suggested that fireworks for the pair’s slow dance were to blame, but Revan believes the blaze began in the ceiling.
“It could be a short-circuit, I don’t know. But the fire started in the ceiling. We felt the heat… When I heard the crackling I looked at the ceiling,” he said.
“Then the ceiling, which was all nylon, started to melt. It only took seconds.”
Footage shared online from the event shows the newlyweds dancing as burning material falls from the roof.
Revan recalled there being a power cut, but when the power came back on seeing “fire” in the ceiling, which was when people began to “scream” and “run away”.
“I grabbed my wife and I began to drag her. I kept dragging her and trying to get her out of the kitchen entrance. As people were fleeing, people were trampling on her. Her legs are injured,” he continued.
The groom said there was only one fire extinguisher which “didn’t work”.
He claimed that there had been 2 fireworks at the start of their dance, with 4 a little later on. Revan added that the venue had dismissed concerns over the fireworks, claiming that they were electric and that “you could put your hand or even plastic [on it] and it won’t burn”.
“Our relatives, our friends, our loved ones are all gone.. Two days ago we buried her [Haneen’s] uncle and his two daughters. Yesterday we buried her other uncle. Today we buried his daughter and we buried her mother. Her father is in a critical condition. We don’t know what his condition is,” Revan said.
“My aunt died. My sister had burns. Her husband has burns all over his body. My uncle lost 7 members. So many people. And every day we hear more news.”
“On the wedding night… why did this happen? What did we do? Why did this happen?”