Iraq’s Interior Ministry mentioned Sunday that 82 folks died and 110 have been injured in a catastrophic fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital tending to extreme coronavirus sufferers.
Negligence on the a part of hospital authorities has been blamed for the Saturday evening fire, which preliminary experiences counsel was prompted when an oxygen cylinder exploded in the ward of Ibn al-Khatib hospital. Iraq’s prime minister fired key hospital officers hours after the catastrophic incident.
Among the lifeless have been not less than 28 sufferers on ventilators battling extreme signs of the virus, tweeted Ali al-Bayati, a spokesman of the nation’s unbiased Human Rights Commission. The fee is a semi-official physique.
Firefighters rushed to battle the flames that raged throughout the second ground of the hospital. Civil protection groups put out flames till the early hours of the morning.
Ambulances transported dozens of wounded. The Health Ministry mentioned not less than 200 folks have been rescued from the scene.
Doctors on the scene have been frazzled by the chaos unfolding round them. They mentioned quite a few burned our bodies have been carried out by paramedics from the hospital ground.
The fire got here as Iraq grapples with a extreme second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Daily virus circumstances now common round 8,000, the best since Iraq started recording an infection charges early final 12 months. At least 15,200 folks have died of coronavirus in Iraq amongst a complete of not less than 100,000 confirmed circumstances.
In response to the fire, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi fired the director-general of the Baghdad Health Department in the al-Rusafa space, the place the hospital is positioned. He additionally fired the director of Ibh al-Khatib Hospital and its director of engineering and upkeep, in response to an announcement from the Health Ministry and his workplace.
After the fire first broke out, Al-Khadhimi held an emergency assembly on the headquarters of the Baghdad Operations Command, which coordinates Iraqi safety forces, in response to an announcement on his Twitter account.
In the assembly he mentioned the incident amounted to negligence.
“Negligence in such matters is not a mistake, but a crime for which all negligent parties must bear responsibility,” he mentioned. He gave Iraqi authorities 24 hours to current the outcomes of an investigation.
U.N. envoy to Iraq Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert expressed “shock and pain” over the incident in an announcement and referred to as for stronger safety measures in hospitals.