Iraq: Baghdad hospital fire victims hit 88

A fire broke out at a hospital for coronavirus patients in Baghdad that killed 88 patients, The Associated Press reported.

More than a hundred people, hospital staff and patients alike, were affected by the fire. On Saturday evening, according to the Ministry of the Interior, there was an explosion of oxygen cylinders in the warehouse. The fire quickly engulfed the intensive care unit for patients with COVID-19, panic delayed the evacuation of patients.

Most of the dead were in the intensive care unit. Many critically ill patients were poisoned by carbon monoxide or suffocated due to the stoppage of the oxygen supply systems.

More than 30 fire brigades participated in extinguishing the fire, residents of nearby houses helped to evacuate the sick. More than 200 people were saved. The two-story building was completely burned out.

Prime Minister Maustafa al-Kazimi declared mismanagement and negligence that resulted in such a terrible tragedy. As it turned out, the hospital did not have a fire-fighting system, and flammable materials were used to decorate the premises. In addition, the call to emergency services was made late. The hospital’s chief physician has already been arrested, and the Governor of Baghdad and the Minister of Health have been dismissed. The country has declared a 3-day mourning period.

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