“The fact that we were all safe as kittens under a cookstove did not, however, assuage in the least the fine despair and the grotesque desperation which seized upon the residents of the East Side when the cry spread like a grass fire that the dam had given way. Some of the most dignified, staid, cynical, and clear thinking men in town abandoned their wives, stenographers, homes and offices and ran east. There are few alarms in the world more terrifying than ‘The dam has broken!’ There are few persons capable of stopping to reason when that clarion cry strikes upon their ears, even persons who live in towns no nearer than five hundred miles to a dam.”
Ilyas was captured on police cameras wearing an Afro-style wig and throwing burning cardboard through a broken window of Manningham Labour Club while 23 people were inside. The club was burned to the ground after petrol bombs were thrown by a group of Asian youths.
The 23 people inside were eventually led to safety after hiding in the club's cellar to avoid the flames. Police described the incident afterwards as the single most serious incident of the riots.