Bride and Groom Come Forward After Over 100 People Died at Their Wedding

Bride and Groom Come Forward After Over 100 People Died at Their Wedding
SKY News

A bride and groom have spoken out after more than 100 people tragically died at their wedding. A wedding is supposed to be the happiest day in a couple’s life. But for two newlyweds, it was instead the scene of an enormous tragedy. Now, the bride, 18-year-old Haneen, and 27-year-old groom, Revan, have spoken out about the horrifying incident.

Haneen and Revan were supposed to be enjoying a celebration of their love. But by the end of the day, they had lost 107 people who were dear to them, including many close family members. A huge number of the bride and groom’s friends and family were killed at the venue in Iraq’s Nineveh province. The incident occurred due to an enormous and out-of-control fire. The inferno happened at a popular wedding hall in Qaraqosh, near the city of Mosul, at a ceremony with more than 900 guests.

Jamil al-Jamil, a friend of the couple, told AFP via BBC News: “The bride lost her whole family – three brothers, all of her uncles, and her young cousins. The groom lost his mother.” At least 82 others were also injured, the head of the Al-Hamdaniya Fire Incident Investigation Committee confirmed.

Talking to Sky News, Revan attempted to explain the cause of the fire, saying: “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. Then the ceiling, which was all nylon, started to melt. It only took seconds.” He claimed there was a power cut before the couple’s first dance, after which he noticed flames spreading across the ceiling. One of those injured in the fire told an Associated Press reporter from the hospital: “[The bride and groom] were about to do a slow dance and then they lit up this thing for the dance which caught fire.”

Revan explained that he had to rescue his wife, saying: “I kept dragging her and trying to get her out of the kitchen entrance. As people were fleeing, people were trampling on her.” He added, “Her legs are injured.” Authorities claim the building had flammable materials, which led to the fast spreading of the blaze. It’s also believed the chaotic evacuation process led to a greater loss of life. Revan said there was only one fire extinguisher, which ‘didn’t work.’


Martin Idriss, 19, who was working in the kitchen when the fire broke out, told the Daily Mail: “I thought there had been an explosion. The flames were devouring the whole hall.” Wedding guest Rania Waad, 17, who suffered burns to her hand, said that as the bride and groom ‘were slow dancing, the fireworks (flames) started to climb to the ceiling (and) the whole hall went up in flames.’ “We couldn’t see anything. We were suffocating. We didn’t know how to get out,” she added.

In the fire’s aftermath, the hall was strewn with charred metal and debris, a grim sight for those who walked through. Survivors, wrapped in bandages, made their way to local hospitals where they received vital oxygen support. Meanwhile, families anxiously waited in hallways and outside, while workers scrambled to organize additional oxygen cylinders. Among the injured were children, adding to the tragedy. The wail of ambulance sirens echoed for hours as paramedics tirelessly transported the wounded to safety.

Following the fire, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al Sudani said on social media that he had contacted the provincial governor of Nineveh and his country’s home and health ministers, directing them to ‘mobilize all efforts to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate incident.’ Health Ministry spokesman Saif al Badr said, per Yahoo: “All efforts are being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident.”

Initial reports suggested the fire began as a result of a pyrotechnic accident, although Revan maintains it started in the ceiling. Per the Daily Mail, civil defense authorities said the hall had been fitted with prefabricated panels that were ‘highly flammable and contravened safety standards.’ The danger was compounded by the ‘release of toxic gases linked to the combustion of the panels,’ which contained plastic. Fourteen people were eventually arrested following the fire, including the hall’s owner and four people involved in setting off the fireworks, per the BBC. Some have since been released.

SKY News

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has demanded ‘the toughest punishments permitted by law for those responsible for negligence or failings that led to this tragic fire.’ According to the state-run Iraqi News Agency (INA), Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari announced: “Fireworks were the main cause of the fire.” He also claimed that the fire ‘was accidental and 100% an act of God.’

Groom Revan and bride Haneen have spoken out after more than 100 people tragically died at their wedding. Credit: Sky News Per the BBC, Mr. Shammari noted that the hall had a capacity of 500, but that ‘twice the number’ were inside and it was ‘devoid of emergency doors.’ He added: “The hall’s owner thought that a short circuit had started the fire, so he cut the electricity, which had a significant impact. This provoked chaos, panic and a stampede.”

British fire safety expert Arnold Tarling told the BBC: “There should be ‘firebreaks’ in the ceiling and floor. Materials shouldn’t be combustible, including wedding decorations.” He added: “These sort of fires are all completely avoidable. People bring fireworks to such events, but nobody ever thinks about it.” Revan has also spoken out about the emotional impact of the tragedy, stating: “Inside we are dead. We are numb. We are dead inside.” He concluded: “Our relatives, our friends, our loved ones are all gone.” The couple also confirmed they’re leaving their hometown following the incident. “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 said. He added: “On the wedding night… why did this happen? What did we do? Why did this happen?”