In the aftermath of the tragic event, the extent of the loss became painfully clear to the grieving families.
Among the victims were not only adults but also children, as young as four years old.
Samira, a 53-year-old housewife, who bore witness to this devastating ordeal, expressed her grief, stating, “The 15 who died in my family ranged from the father to the youngest child, aged four.”
She further added that there were still bodies to be recovered, including those of a man and his twin daughters.
The sorrowful scene in Qaraqosh continued as the community came together to lay their loved ones to rest.
A solemn procession was led by a poignant portrait of Jesus Christ, symbolizing the deep faith of the community.
This procession made way for approximately 20 coffins, each holding the remains of those who had perished.
At the cemetery, mourners congregated around clergy members from various churches.
They recited prayers in Syriac and listened to sermons in Arabic, finding solace in their faith during this trying time.
Portraits of the deceased were held up by some of the mourners, honoring the memories of those they had lost.
The tragedy had struck during what was meant to be a joyous occasion.
The day before the fire, a wedding celebration had unfolded in an elegant banqueting hall.
As the bride and groom danced in celebration, a fire suddenly erupted in the reception hall.
The flames spread rapidly, claiming the lives of at least 100 people and leaving 150 others injured.
Eyewitnesses recounted the horrific scene, with footage shared on social media showing indoor fireworks igniting ceiling decorations.
Panic ensued as guests were caught in a stampede, unable to escape in time. Tragically, the reception hall lacked sufficient emergency exits.
Survivor Ronak Sabih, 41 years old, vividly remembered the terrifying moments: “While the bride and groom were dancing, the sprays of sparks were activated.
There were feather decorations on the ceiling, and they caught fire.
The flames were terrible.” He further added that efforts were made to summon help, but the situation escalated rapidly, leaving many with no way out.
The civil defense authorities revealed that the reception hall had been fitted with highly flammable prefabricated panels that violated safety standards.
These panels ignited immediately upon contact with indoor fireworks, setting off the devastating chain of events.
The absence of adequate emergency exits further exacerbated the catastrophe.