Dozens of men were watching a soccer match at the “Smile” cafe when the blast hit in the street below. Within minutes, a fire ripped through the Baghdad shopping mall where they were gathered, trapping them in a crowd on the second floor.
There were no fire exits, no firefighters. An iron gate to the roof was padlocked.
One of those watching the match, Majid Toamah, kicked a hole in an aluminum wall in the cafe and leaped 20 meters (yards) to the alley below. The 40-year-old broke both his legs. As he lay in agony, he looked up to see terrified faces staring out of the hole.
“They were too scared to jump. The face of one of them caught fire,” Toamah remembered. “In the end, they all died.”