Baghdad hospital fire kills dozens of Covid patients+ video

TEHRAN, Apr. 25 (MNA) – 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, Aljazeera reported.

The flames spread quickly, according to civil defense 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 defense 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.

The total number of people that have been infected with COVID-19 in Iraq is 102,528 including 15,217 deaths, the health ministry said on Saturday.

There were 30 patients and dozens of relatives in the intensive care unit – reserved for the capital’s most severe COVID cases – at the time the fire started.

RHM/PR

News Code 172529

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