29 Sep Iraq Wedding Hall Fire kills 200
A fire in a wedding hall in Baghdad has taken the lives of over 100 people, with 200 injured.
A newly married couple dance together for the first time, and guests clap and cheer from long tables, as Roman candle fireworks light up the interior. The mood is happy – and then it shifts to horror.
The ceiling comes alight, debris spat down at wedding go-ers and smoke quickly fills the room as those inside it scrambled through flames to escape.
Initial reports claim the fire has taken the lives of at least 113 people, with defence officials estimating the wounded to be around 200.
“I blame the whole system,” said Alex Najeeb Benjamin, who attended the wedding but skipped the reception to drop off his two sisters and brother.
“We still neglect all safety measures due to greed and avarice, and because of this, more than 100 lives were taken while they were celebrating.”
According to those at the event, the sound and visuals of the performance distracted from the fire’s initial spread. When the fire was noticed, all attendees noticed it at the same time, and rushed for exits, trampling over each other in the process.
“It was horrific… hearing the sounds of people burning.”
Security & Fire Africa will continue to monitor fire events worldwide.