Sunday, April 25, 2021

Dozens dead after fire rips through Baghdad COVID-19 hospital | Al Jazeera

At least 27 people were killed and 46 injured after a fire broke out on Sunday in a coronavirus intensive care unit in Baghdad, as Iraq faces a growing wave of COVID-19 cases.

The fire at the Ibn Khatib hospital in the Iraqi capital was sparked by an accident that caused an oxygen tank to explode, according to medical sources cited by the Reuters news agency and AFP.

The flames spread quickly, according to civil defence officials, as “the hospital had no fire protection system and false ceilings allowed the flames to spread to highly flammable products.”

Major General Kadhim Bohanm, the head of the Iraqi civil defence unit, said that 90 of a total of 120 patients and relatives had been rescued, state news agency INA quoted him as saying.

The fire has been put out, he added.

Iraq’s healthcare system, already ruined by decades of sanctions, war and neglect, has been stretched even further as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Al Jazeera’s Simona Moltyn, who is in Baghdad, said the death toll was likely to rise because many of the injured had severe burns.

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