In a horrific fire accident, 82 people were killed and 110 were injured in a major fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital treating COVID-19 patients on Saturday night.
Initial reports suggest the fire was caused when an oxygen cylinder exploded in the ward of Ibn al-Khatib hospital.
Iraq's prime minister MA Kadhimi fired key hospital officials hours after the accident and ordered an immediate investigation to uncover the causes of the accident with officials in the Ministry of Health.
Prime Minister @MAKadhimi mourns the martyrs of the tragic accident at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad. He ordered an immediate investigation to uncover the causes of the accident with officials in the Ministry of Health.— Government of Iraq - الحكومة العراقية (@IraqiGovt) April 24, 2021
Out of the 82 dead, 28 patients were on ventilators battling severe symptoms of the virus, tweeted Ali al-Bayati, a spokesman of the country's independent Human Rights Commission.
Horrific fire in Baghdad hospital claims at least 88 victims mostly #COVID19 patients..— Musa Abubakar (@Musa610master) April 25, 2021
Gross health & safety failures reported as the cause.. Iraqis call for Health Minister and Prime Minister to resign!#حريق_مستشفى_ابن_الخطيب pic.twitter.com/wyABTnMnlS
Fire-fighters rushed to douse the flames and the rescue efforts were said to be going on till the early hours of Sunday morning. This accident comes at a time when Iraq is also facing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has recorded more than 8,000 cases.