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'This was hell': Bride loses her entire family in fire that killed over 100 during wedding function

The tragedy reportedly happened during the newlywed's first dance
UPDATED SEP 30, 2023
Screenshots from the viral video (Twitter/ @professor_hasan)
Screenshots from the viral video (Twitter/ @professor_hasan)

HAMDANIYA, IRAQ: A wedding that was supposed to be a new beginning for a couple turned into their worst nightmare because of a fatal fire that killed more than a 100 people.

The consequences of the fire were so devastating that most of the family members of the bride, identified as Haneen, lost their lives, the Daily Mail reported.

The tragedy reportedly happened during the newlywed's first dance in the northern town of Qaraqosh near Mosul in Iraq, which was attended by almost 900 people.

Survivors said the fire was triggered by fireworks that had been set off inside the hall before the bride and groom’s slow dance.

A video of the incident has now gone viral, showing the moments before the devastating fire that claimed over 100 lives. The footage show fireworks being lit indoors, and which then shot up and set a chandelier on fire.


Bride and groom managed to save themselves

At first, it was thought that Haneen and her new husband Ravan had died in the fire. But later it was revealed that they managed to escape safely. They have, however, been left heartbroken due to the unbearable loss they suffered.

“The bride and groom are fine. I was just with them now, but their condition is devastating due to what happened to people here,” a wedding guest reportedly said.

Jamil al-Jamil, a pal of the pair, reportedly said, “The bride lost her whole family - three brothers, all of her uncles, and her young cousins. The groom lost his mother.”

‘This tragedy hurt us more than ISIS’

Mariam Khedr, a woman whose daughter and three grandchildren died, stated, “This was not a wedding. This was hell.”

The groom’s father told CNN, “I hold the owner of the hall responsible for what happened at the party because there are no extinguishers or safety measures in the hall.”

Besides, a translator from Qaraqosh shared, “This tragedy hurt us more than ISIS. At least when ISIS came we could escape, but now a wedding became a graveyard for us.”

Priest Boutros Shito added, “Islamic State didn't kill us, this catastrophe killed us. In this country, we always wait until a disaster occurs and then deal with the results. Our home is now empty of family because of greed and corruption.”

Following the tragedy, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq issued a statement that read, “Shocked and pained by the horrible loss of life and injuries in the fire in Ninewa’s Hamdaniya.”


“An immense tragedy. Our sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones. We wish the injured a speedy recovery. #Iraq,” it noted.

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