A bride’s ‘entire family’ are among more than 100 people who were killed after a wedding turned into an apocalyptic nightmare, Metro UK reports.
The groom’s mother was also killed after an inferno broke out while the newlyweds enjoyed their first dance on Tuesday night.
Haneen and Ravan Esho were celebrating together when disaster struck, sending hundreds of guests into a panicked frenzy at the ceremony in the town of Qarapish, near Mosul, in northern Iraq.
Terrifying footage shows pyrotechnics placed on the floor of the packed hall shooting out fireworks before a decorated chandelier above catches alight.
Moments later, flaming debris starts raining down violently from the ceiling onto people below, who frantically head for the few small exits.
Petrified guests can be heard screaming as the huge ornament erupts, and the whole building is engulfed and ravaged by the fire.
What was supposed to be a dream day for the married couple had rapidly descended into an unimaginable catastrophe.
They were initially feared dead but managed to escape through the kitchen, although they are said to be in a ‘dire’ psychological state.
More than 100 others tragically succumbed including the bride’s three brothers, her uncles and young cousins, reports MailOnline.
According to Jamil al-Jamil, who is a friend of a couple, the burns they suffered pale into insignificance compared the fire far outweigh the crushing blow of losing so many family members, a friend of the couple, Jamil al-Jamil said.
"The bride lost her whole family – three brothers, all of her uncles and her young cousins. The groom lost his mother," he said.
"They lit up fireworks," he said. "It hit the ceiling, which caught fire. The entire hall was on fire in seconds."
Firefighters continued to search the charred remains of the building as bereaved relatives gathered outside a morgue in Mosul, wailing in distress.
Survivors said hundreds of people were at the wedding celebration, which followed an earlier church service, and the fire began about an hour into the event.
Nineveh Province Deputy Governor Hassan al-Allaf said 113 people had been confirmed dead.
Hundreds gathered, many sobbing, as coffins were carried at shoulder height, some shrouded in white, one with a floral cloth, before being laid on the ground where distraught mourners tightly embraced as caskets were lowered into their graves.
Most residents of Qaraqosh, which is mostly Christian but also home to some members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, fled the town when Islamic State seized it in 2014. But they returned after the group was ousted in 2017.
"Yesterday there was a wedding and happiness. Now we are preparing their burial," said deacon Hani al-Kasmousa at Mar Youhanna church, where the wedding service took place before the evening celebrations.