Shoppers in central London give their thoughts on the rising cost of food.
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Wedding guests were seen running for cover as flaming debris fell from the ceiling of a wedding venue in northern Iraq, after a deadly fire broke out on September 26.Nineveh Deputy Governor Hassan al-Allaq told media that 113 people had been confirmed dead. State media put the death toll at at least 100, with 150 people injured.Initial reports from Iraq’s Civil Defense Directorate indicated fireworks were used, and may have caused the fire inside the hall.It also said that the wedding hall was covered with highly flammable panels.Footage filmed by wedding photographers Studio 4Pro showed the moment that the indoor fireworks ignited while the married couple danced. The footage freezes before the flaming debris can be seen coming from the ceiling and guests scatter.Separate footage, verified by Storyful, showed the moment indoor fireworks sparked the fire at the venue.Footage filmed by Kurdistan 24 showed the wedding venue roof had collapsed, with charred shoes and other personal items among the debris.Iraq’s Ministry of Interior said arrest warrants against four owners of the wedding hall had been issued, according to state media. Credit: Studio 4Pro via Storyful
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A huge portrait of Jesus Christ dominates the crowd, which parts to make way for a stream of coffins after a fire tore through an Iraqi Christian wedding.At the cemetery in the northern city of Qaraqosh, mourners gathered around the clergy from various churches, chanting prayers in Syriac and delivering sermons in Arabic.Some of the faithful held up portraits of deceased loved ones.The day before, those in the pictures had gathered in an elegant banqueting hall to attend a wedding. But as the bride and groom danced, a fire erupted in the reception hall, killing at least 100 people and injuring 150 others.By all accounts, the fire spread at a rapid rate.Footage shared on social media showed indoor fireworks flaring so high that they set ceiling decorations alight. On Wednesday, one by one, around 20 coffins covered in satin or bouquets of flowers were carried through the crowd on the shoulders of men.They were followed by women in tears, all dressed in black and supported on either side as they were barely able to stand up on their own.- Crowds swarm cemetery -Samira, a 53-year-old housewife, came to bury 15 members of her family, "from the father to the youngest child, aged four", she said in a melancholy tone."We still have to bury a man and his two twin daughters. They're dead but we haven't recovered the bodies," she added. Other burials are planned in the coming days.She paused and took a deep breath, saying: "That's enough, I can't talk any more". But she continued anyway."There's no sentiment possible; we're all dead," the 50-year-old said. "There isn't a single person who hasn't lost a family member or a friend."The crowd that swarmed the cemetery chanted "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" before singing liturgical hymns. When approached by journalists, several people refused to comment.In front of the family vaults lining the cemetery lanes, men and women wept loudly and let out cries of anguish.One woman knelt to kiss the portrait of a young woman.- 'Terrible flames' -The civil defence said the reception hall had been fitted with prefabricated panels that were "highly flammable and contravened safety standards".They caught fire immediately on contact with indoor fireworks.The panicked guests were caught in a stampede and unable to escape in time from the hall, which the civil defence said lacked sufficient emergency exits."While the bride and groom were dancing, the sprays of sparks were activated," said Ronak Sabih, a 41-year-old survivor."There were feather decorations on the ceiling and they caught fire. The flames were terrible," said the man who returned on Wednesday to inspect the site of the disaster."My family were on the floor and I started pulling them out. There were people on top of us. We started screaming," he said breathlessly."We called the fire brigade. We called everyone," he said."From that door I pulled out bodies. I carried them in my arms. We wrapped them in blankets to take them to hospital."vid-lk-tgg/dv/rox
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STORY: A packed memorial service for the victims of a deadly fire at an Iraqi wedding celebration took place on Thursday (September 28).At a funeral the day before, the groom was among the crowds of people weeping.Calls for accountability were growing in the Christian town of Hamdaniya, as grief-stricken mourners watched their loved ones being buried.More than 100 people died and at least 150 were injured on Tuesday evening in an inferno that government officials have said was enabled by a lack of safety and security measures and the use of highly flammable materials in the building.In a sermon interrupted at times by the wails of women clad in black, a priest at Al-Tahira Church told mourners that Iraq had been united in grief, but hecriticized officials for their corruption.It was a theme repeated by a victim's relative, Em Nour.“It is not okay for one person get burned because of a lack of safety measures, let alone tens of people. Iraqi blood is spilled so easily. There have been so many accidents over the years, like the boat that sunk in Mosul in 2019, the parks that lack safety measures. It is not about a certain area, it is the whole state that has no laws to protect the people."Criticism of a lax approach to public safety is common in Iraq.The state has been weakened by recurring conflict since the 2003 U.S. invasionServices are impaired by pervasive corruption for which few senior officials are ever held to account.The tragedy has revived memories of deadly fires that swept through two hospitals in Iraq in 2021, killing at least 174 people in all, that were at the time blamed on negligence, lax regulations and corruption.Government officials have announced the arrest of 14 people over Tuesday night's fire, including the owners of the events hall, and promised a swift investigation.
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