A newlywed couple whose wedding celebration turned into a tragedy after at least 100 guests were killed have spoken out.
Groom Revan, 27, lost 15 family members, while his wife Haneen, 18, lost 18 relatives after indoor fireworks caused a fire and sparked a stampede for the exits in Qaraqosh, Iraq.
“Inside we are dead,” Revan said. “We are numb. We are dead inside.”
The new husband said his wife ‘can’t speak’ after the tragedy, which claimed the lives of her mother and brother and also left her father in critical condition.
According to reports, over 150 people were injured in the crush to flee the scene or by the blaze.
Video shows the groom and bride dancing surrounded by indoor fireworks while about 900 guests sat around them.
“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,” Revan told Sky News.
“Then the ceiling, which was all nylon, started to melt. It only took seconds,” Revan continued.
The groom said he had to drag Haneen, who couldn’t run away because of her wedding dress.
“As people were fleeing, people were trampling on her. Her legs are injured,” he told the news outlet.
“Our relatives, our friends, our loved ones are all gone.”
The couple said they could no longer stay in their hometown after their happiness had been ‘destroyed.’
Authorities counted 100 people dead and over 150 injured in the blaze at a marriage hall in Hamdaniyah.
Mansour Marouf, the director of health services in Nineveh, said only 30 had been immediately identified by their families.
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