1. WEDDING TRAGEDY Bride killed in helicopter horror crash as big wedding entrance to surprise groom goes horribly wrong
Rosemeire Silva Nascimento, who was wearing her wedding dress and veil, died instantly along with three others.
The 32-year-old nurse planned to amaze her fiancé, Udirley Narques Damasceno, 34, and their 300 guests with a stunning entrance by flying into the Recanto Beija-Flor venue wedding grounds in Sao Lourenco da Serra, a wealthy suburb in Sao Paulo, in a chopper.
The groom was left in state of shock at the altar as he was told his bride had died.
According to wedding organiser Carlos Eduardo Batista – one of the few who knew about the surprise – the groom, a locksmith, was totally in the dark about the stunt.
Carlos helped to organise the idea.
He said: “Every bride has a dream to do something amazing on
their big day and for Rosemeire, hers was to turn up at her wedding in a helicopter without anyone knowing beforehand.”
In addition to the bride, the other victims included her brother, Silvano Nascimento da Silva, who had been “very excited about the plan”, the wedding photographer, Nayla Cristina Neves Lousada, who was six months pregnant, and Peterson Pinheiro the pilot.
2. Tragedy as eucalyptus tree falls on bridal party taking group photo in California
A woman was killed and five people injured after a large eucalyptus tree fell on a wedding party taking photographs at a Southern California park Saturday afternoon US time, authorities said.
In a live Facebook video, witness Gilbert Duran said he was attending a girl’s 15th birthday party in the park when the tree fell.
He said that, moments before the tree toppled, he and some friends had been taking pictures under it, but moved for better light.
That’s when the wedding party moved under the tree.
“This tree was humungous, it just fell … we just sat and watched this tree fall on top of everybody. It’s crazy,” an emotional Duran said in his live broadcast.
“We walk away and five minutes later this thing collapses on a whole wedding party.
“I just seen a bunch of kids, little kids … they were running for their life and this thing just fell on top of them. I watched them go flat.”
Several people were trapped under the tree at Whittier’s Penn Park about 4.30pm Saturday, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
3. 2001: Israel wedding party tragedy
Guests were left clinging to the sides of the Versailles wedding hall when the third floor suddenly gave way at about 2245 local time and crashed through two storeys below.
There were nearly 700 guests in the building, which is in the industrial Talpiot area of Jerusalem. Many were left trapped by the falling rubble which left a gaping hole through the centre of the building.
Reports say about 250 people have been taken to hospital but rescuers say there are signs of life beneath the debris. A special Israeli army rescue unit is at the scene.
The father of the groom, Zion Dror, said: "We were dancing, and all of a sudden three storeys collapsed. My family is fine, thank God."
The bride, Keren Dror, who was standing with the groom in the centre of a circle of dancers fell with him when the floor collapsed. She is reported to have injuries to her head and limbs and has been taken to hospital.
One wedding guest Efraim Rino told Israel Radio: "I grabbed my son as the floor collapsed. We fell one floor, and then the next floor collapsed. And the next. And I'm trying to hold my son's hand all the time. He's ten years old. We dropped all the way down. We were in the ruins. We had to be pulled out.
"People were flying through the air, the orchestra, the loudspeakers, everything fell."
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert has already visited the scene and rejected suggestions of a terror attack.
There are some reports the Versailles banquet hall was built using a cheap method of construction, known as Pal-Kal, which was outlawed five years ago.
A caller to Israel's Army Radio said he had organised a wedding at the hall a week ago and had called the owners afterwards to say he was worried about the state of the dance hall floor.
4. Dad dies from heart attack moments after finishing first dance with daughter at her wedding
His partner posted a photo of herself on Facebook with her husband and a poignant message telling their friends at relatives about the heartbreaking timing of his death.
She wrote: “You never know when the last time will be the last time!
“He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him.
“I know he loved me and our family.
“Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honor of a beautiful grandchild.”
She commented on the photo of the pair together: “I am so very grateful for this image of us that our dear friends snuck during our daughter’s wedding yesterday.
“Little did I know just a few hours later we would lose him.”
Tim who was a veteran detective with the York County Sheriff’s Department in Rock Hill, South Carolina, had been at the wedding of Michele to her now husband Luis Diego Granera on Saturday.
A friend has now created a GoFundMe page for the grieving family and nearly $10,000 has been raised in two days.
It says: “Jeni and Tim were so excited to head to Costa Rica a few days ago for their daughter’s wedding.
“If you know Jeni, you know how much Tim means to her and how wonderful the love is that they share.”
On Tuesday Jeni posted a comment on her Facebook page urging people to go to the doctor and get a check up: ” I have a challenge for you.
“I hate going to the dr, and I know i’m not alone in that.
“So I’m challenging all of us to do this together.
“If it’s been more than a year since your last physical, I challenge you to call your doctor and make an appointment NOW.
“We need to all take better care of ourselves, for Tim’s sake.”
5. Turkey wedding suicide bomb mourners carry victims to mass graves after tragedy left 'blood and body parts everywhere'
Since the attack, which took place in Gaziantep on Saturday, President Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the murders on Islamic State and said the killer, who wore an explosive belt, was between the ages of 12 and 14.
Images have now emerged of mass graves which have been dug for the victims.
Men were seen in tears as they carried coffins from the scene.
It is the deadliest bombing this year in Turkey, with the local governor's office saying in a statement 51 people were killed in the bombing.
More wounded are still being treated in hospitals around the province.
"The celebrations were coming to an end and there was a big explosion among people dancing," said 25-year-old Veli Can.
"There was blood and body parts everywhere."
Blood stains and burns marked the walls of the narrow lane where the wedding party was attacked while women in white and checkered scarves cried sitting crosslegged and waiting outside the morgue for word on missing relatives.
At least 12 people were buried on Sunday, but other funerals would have to wait because many of the victims were blown to pieces and DNA forensics tests would be needed to identify them, security sources said.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, or HDP, said in a statement that the wedding was for one of its members, and women and children had been among those killed.
Mahmut Togrul, an HDP lawmaker from Gaziantep, around 40 km (25 miles) north of the border with Syria, told Reuters it was a Kurdish wedding.
Islamic State has been blamed for suicide bombings on Kurdish gatherings in the past as militants try to stir ethnic tensions.
"It was carried out like an atrocity," witness Ibrahim Ozdemir said. "We want to end these massacres. We are in pain, especially the women and children."
Turkey is still tense after an attempted coup on July 15 which Ankara blames on U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. He has denied the charge.
Bombings have torn at the fabric of Turkey which is seen by Western allies as an important ally and buffer against instability in Syria and Iraq.
Three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers killed 44 people at Istanbul's main airport in July, the deadliest in a string of attacks in Turkey this year.
6. Tragedy as father of the bride pilot is killed performing flyover at daughter's wedding reception when he crashes plane in remote woodland
The fixed landing gear of the Cessna 206 he was flying struck trees, state police said, bringing the aircraft down.
Michael Zagula, 54, had earlier performed the ceremony at his daughter’s wedding to a man he is said to have treated like a son.
About half the town of Trapper Creek, Alaska, some 120 miles north of Anchorage, was at the reception neighbors said.
Zagula posed for photographs with the happy couple at the cake cutting before slipping away.
‘About 20 minutes later his plane was flying over top, and he loved to fly, so he wanted to do something special for the kids,’ Klondike Hughes, a friend of Zagula’s, told KTUU.
Many of the guests witnessed or heard the crash which occurred at approximately 7:10 p.m.
He flew over the party, and as he was returning, he clipped the trees and lost control of the aircraft.
No one else was on board.
Zagula had a long career flying cargo planes before moving to Alaska.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigator traveled to the crash site on Monday afternoon.
Regional supervisor Clint Johnson said the aircraft was about half a mile away from the nearest road, forcing investigators to use all-terrain vehicles to access the site.
The state trooper report said that Zagula’s family was on the scene and notified that he had not survived the crash. His body was turned over to the State Medical Examiner’s Office.
The small community has been left stunned.
Friends remember pilot who crashed over daughter's wedding
7. Wedding Photo Shoot in River Ends in Tragedy as Bride Drowns Under Weight of Water-Soaked Gown
Photographer Louis Pagakis said 30-year-old Maria Pantazopoulos, who got married this past June, entered the Ouareau River in her wedding dress so she could have her picture taken in the trendy style of wedding photography meant to symbolize that permanence of the marriage.
"She had her wedding dress on and she said, ‘take some pictures of me while I swim a little bit in the lake,'" recalled Pagakis.
But the dress quickly became saturated, and the weight was simply too much for the 100-pound Pantazopoulos who began to sink to the bottom.
"The photographer put down his equipment and tried to save her," Sgt. Ronald McInnis of the provincial police told the Montreal Gazette. "He grabbed her with his hands. [One witness] tried to help, but they couldn't save her. The dress was too heavy."
A scuba diver later found Pantzopoulos' body at the bottom of a nearby stagnant pool of water.
"I tried to save her," an extremely upset Pagakis told CTV through tears. "I tried, I tried, I tried."
8. San Mateo Bridge limo fire: Survivor describes desperate escape from flames
When the limo filled with smoke and flames, she told a jury Wednesday, she was the last to escape.
Loyola’s chilling testimony in a wrongful death trial was one of the first public accounts from a survivor of the May 5, 2013, limo fire that killed five of her friends.
Looking back, she wasn’t alarmed when she felt the first bumps as the Lincoln Town Car bounced on the freeway, carrying her and eight friends over the San Mateo Bridge.
“I thought it was just part of the ride,” she told a jury in a San Mateo County courtroom.
Then, thick, black, acrid smoke started rising from the floor — the first sign that something was horribly wrong. After a moment she couldn’t breathe, as smoke filled the passenger compartment, and soon she couldn’t see. She began to crawl toward the front of the car and what appeared like the only escape — a narrow passageway to the driver’s seat. She remembers crawling over wedding presents on the way.
“I couldn’t see my friends,” she told the jury, speaking in short, halting sentences, sometimes pausing to take a breath. Breathing was so difficult in the fire she couldn’t speak. “I couldn’t open my mouth.”
Two of the women had managed to shimmy through the small partition to the driver’s seat. With the panic growing, Loyola remembers waiting her turn behind Jasmin De Guia.
“She got stuck on her hip,” said Loyola, 51, who tried to push her friend through. A small amount of air made it through the partition. She didn’t know where anyone else was.
She looked back, but the flames were coming forward. The smoke was full of heavy particles.
Loyola remembered thinking one thing: If De Guia couldn’t get out, “I am going to die.”
She pushed her friend harder, and De Guia squeezed through.
As Loyola scrambled headfirst through the same passage, the flames raced up on her, burning her ankles so badly that she later needed a skin graft, she said.
Five more friends behind her were still trapped in the fire.
“I didn’t feel or touch anyone,” she told the jury, tearing up on the stand.
She was the last one out.
Loyola is the final passenger scheduled to testify in the wrongful death suit against the Ford Motor Company brought by a widower of one of the victims, Felomina Geronga. She died in the back of the limo along with Jennifer Balon, 39, of Dublin; Michelle Estrera, 35, of Fresno; Anna Alcantara, 46, of San Lorenzo; and newlywed bride Neriza Fojas, 31, of Monterey. The women were headed to a party in Foster City to celebrate Fojas’ nuptials when the blaze started.
Investigators blamed the blaze on a “catastrophic failure” of the car’s suspension system that caused its drive shaft to rub on its undercarriage, causing sparks and friction that started the fire in the rear of the passenger compartment.
Driver Orville “Ricky” Brown, then of San Jose, has said one of the women yelled smoke several times, but he thought she was asking permission to smoke a cigarette. It took him about another 30 to 45 seconds to understand what was happening and stop.
The limo was carrying nine passengers, one over the legal limit for its size. Ford’s lawyers, though, claim the car was designed to carry only six passengers when it was converted from a standard 1999 Lincoln Town Car, but routinely carried from six to 10 passengers for years, a misuse of the car that eventually led to the fire.
Geronga’s lawyer, William Smith, claimed Ford knew of the fire potential for years but did nothing about it.
Loyola and the other survivors and the families of the other four women who died reached out-of-court settlements with the defendants. They include Accubuilt, the company that converted the 1999 Lincoln Town Car into a limousine by cutting it in half and adding its long passenger compartment; the Ford Motor Co. and Limo Stop, a San Jose company that owned the car.
Accubuilt quietly issued a recall of older limousines last year, citing the potential for similar fires.
9. Indian wedding ends in tragedy as one woman is killed and four people injured by rogue bullets as celebrating guests fire guns into the air
Celebratory gun fire during a wedding ceremony in India went horribly wrong when one guest was killed and four others were injured.
The dramatic incident, filmed at Savitiri Marriage Hall, in Karnal district, Haryana, northern India, happened on Tuesday.
Sadhvi Deva Thakur, 40, and her gun men started firing shots into the air soon after the wedding ceremony to celebrate, which is a tradition.
But suddenly the celebration turned to tragedy when Guest Sunita, 48, was accidentally shot in the chest by a rogue bullet and died later in hospital.
Sunita’s cousin, Rosy Dutta, 50, said: ‘It’s so shocking, we can’t digest it. She was killed in front of my eyes and we couldn’t do anything to save her.
'My niece was also injured. This is just so unacceptable. The police seem to be sleeping in our city.’
Four other guests were injured, including an 11-year-old girl, and they were all rushed to a nearby hospital in a critical condition.
Police were immediately informed.
Jasvinder Singh, at Karnal Police Station, said: ‘Thakur was invited to the event by the families of the bride and groom. She asked the DJ to play some music before she started firing shots in the air.
'Thakur’s men were firing shots in the air too but when one of them missed a shot, he shot a test fire towards the floor which hit people nearby.
'One is confirmed dead, and two out of the four injured are still in a critical condition.’
Singh added that no arrests have been made yet as Sadhvi and her gunmen are in hiding.
Mr Singh added: ‘The group fled the venue immediately after the incident.
'We have raided several places nearby but we’re yet to locate them.
'We intend to arrest them under Section 302 (Punishment for murder), 307 (Attempt to murder) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and move forward with proceedings there after.’
This is not the first time this year such a tragedy has occurred after people have been carrying out the Indian wedding tradition.
In March this year another Indian wedding ceremony turned into tragedy after a guest lost control of his rifle during the traditional celebratory gunfire, shooting a bullet into the head of the groom’s father.
Celebratory gunfire (also called aerial firing or happy fire) is the shooting of a firearm into the air in celebration. It is culturally accepted in parts of the Balkans, the Middle East, the Central Asian region of Afghanistan, and the South Asian regions of Pakistan and Northern India. In regions such as Puerto Rico and other areas of the United States it is practiced illegally, especially on holidays like New Year's Eve.