A deadly fire has at Baghdad’s COVID hospital has killed 82 and left more than 100 people injured.
The fire at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital in the Diyala Bridge area of the Iraqi capital started on Saturday night due to an explosion caused by a fault in the storage of oxygen cylinders.
The head of Iraq’s Civil Defence, Gen Kadhim Bohan, in a statement said that the fire had broken out in the hospital’s intensive-care unit, on a floor “designated for pulmonary resuscitation”.
The Health Ministry said at least 200 people were rescued from the scene.
According to a hospital source, about “30 patients were in the intensive care unit”, which was reserved for the most severe cases of Covid-19 in Iraq’s capital.
The fire was put out by the early hours of Sunday morning, Iraq’s Civil Defence informed.
Among the dead were at least 28 patients on ventilators battling severe symptoms of the virus, tweeted Ali al-Bayati, a spokesman of the country’s independent Human Rights Commission.
Baghdad Governor Mohammed Jaber in a statement said that the prime minister has called for an urgent investigation to determine if anyone should be “brought to justice” for negligence.
In a statement, the government’s human rights commission said the incident was “a crime against patients exhausted by Covid-19”.
Meanwhile, all patients have been taken to nearby hospitals.
UN has expressed shock over the incident and calls for stronger protection measures to prevent disasters