BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Saturday, 26 May, 2001, 18:52 GMT 19:52 UK
Cameraman: 'I see death before my eyes'
When celebration turned to tragedy
When celebration turned to tragedy
The cameraman who captured the dramatic footage of wedding guests plunging from the top storey of a wedding hall says he is barely able to watch the graphic images on television.

David Amromin says when he sees the footage on television it brings the whole nightmare scenario back to him.

I did not understand what happened at all at first. I did not know what I was doing of where I was. I was in another world

Camerman David Amromin
"I see the death before my eyes... I just can't see it anymore," he says.

The 23-year-old immigrant from Lithuania, has been working as a video cameraman for eight years, but nothing he had experienced had prepared him for what he saw on Thursday night.

The video captured the instant when celebration turned to tragedy.

Strewn rose petals

Mr Amromin says one minute he was filming the ecstatic bride and groom kissing on the dance floor surrounded by joyous guests, the next the camera was rolling just centimetres from an abyss that had opened up in front of him.

"I did not understand what happened at all at first. I did not know what I was doing or where I was. I was in another world," he said.

David Amromin
Mr Amromin says the nightmare is relived when he sees the footage
At the beginning of the footage, the bride and groom are seen kissing under a canopy and, later, on the dance floor. Guests toss rose petals over the couple.

Mr Amromin pans the faces of the happy crowd.

Some are dancing on each others' shoulders; a small girl is seen dancing in the arms of a man.

Seconds later guests are swallowed up as the floor beneath them gave way, and in a sudden lurch, hands flew in the air and screams fill the air.

"I heard people going down with one big scream. There were three booms," Mr Amromin says.

"I ran back and turned around and kept shooting. People were running around me shouting and stumbling over me. I stood still in shock, trying to understand what was going on."

The video shows one man scooping up a little girl amid the mayhem, while stunned guests are seen peering into the hole.

The horrifying footage was broadcast around the world on TV networks.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories