Iraq: At least 60 Killed In COVID Ward Fire At Hospital

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

13th Jul, 2021. 04:05 pm
Iraq: At least 60 Killed In COVID Ward Fire At Hospital

A fire at a coronavirus hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah on Monday killed at least 44 people and injured 67 others. Prime Minister Mustafa Kazmi has ordered the arrest of the responsible officials.

According to reports, Iraqi health and police officials confirmed the deaths in the hospital fire, saying the fire may have been caused by an oxygen tank explosion.

After the incident, the medical staff kept removing the burnt bodies from the hospital while many patients were seen coughing due to the smoke.

According to health officials in Nasiriyah, a search operation is underway in Al-Hussein Karuna Virus Hospital after the fire was brought under control. However, the smoke and stench are hampering relief efforts in the affected wards.

Health sources said the death toll from Monday’s fire was likely to rise as several patients were still missing. He said the dead included two health workers.

Relatives of the victims gathered in front of the hospital after the incident. Meanwhile, angry people also set fire to two police vehicles after a clash with police.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimy, the Prime Minister has met with senior ministers on the incident and ordered the suspension and arrest of Nasiriyah’s health and civil defence managers.

According to the statement, the hospital management has also been suspended and arrest warrants have been issued for him.

Iraq’s health care system is under pressure to fight the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.4 million people and killed more than 17,000.

A health worker told Reuters that the blaze had engulfed several patients in the coronavirus ward and rescue teams were trying to reach them.

A police official at the scene said an initial police report indicated that an oxygen tank explosion in the hospital’s COVID-19 ward was a possible cause of the fire.

According to hospital guard Ali Mohsin, “I heard a huge explosion inside the Coronavirus wards, after which the fire spread rapidly.”

An oxygen tank explosion at a Corona hospital in the capital, Baghdad, in April killed at least 82 people and injured 110.

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