Three days of nationwide mourning declared after blaze, which is believed to have began when an oxygen cylinder exploded.
At the least 27 individuals had been killed and 46 injured after a hearth broke out on Sunday in a coronavirus intensive care unit in Baghdad, as Iraq faces a rising wave of COVID-19 instances.
The hearth on the Ibn Khatib hospital within the Iraqi capital was sparked by an accident that brought on an oxygen tank to blow up, based on medical sources cited by the Reuters information company and AFP.
The flames unfold rapidly, based on the civil defence officers, as “the hospital had no fireplace safety system and false ceilings allowed the flames to unfold to extremely flammable merchandise.”
Main Basic Kadhim Bohanm, the top of the Iraqi civil defence unit, mentioned that 90 of a complete of 120 sufferers and family members had been rescued, state information company INA quoted him as saying.
The hearth has been put out, he added.
Iraq’s healthcare system, already ruined by a long time of sanctions, warfare and neglect, has been stretched even additional on account of the coronavirus disaster.
The overall variety of individuals which were contaminated with COVID-19 in Iraq is 102,528 together with 15,217 deaths, the well being ministry mentioned on Saturday.
There have been 30 sufferers and dozens of family members within the intensive care unit – reserved for the capital’s most extreme COVID instances – on the time the fireplace began.
“Nearly all of the victims died as a result of they needed to be moved and had been taken off ventilators, whereas the others had been suffocated by the smoke,” the civil defence mentioned.
The well being ministry, which didn’t put out a press release till a number of hours after the fireplace, mentioned it had “saved over 200 sufferers”, and promised an official toll of the lifeless and wounded later.
The hearth triggered outrage on social media and the prime minister has referred to as for an investigation into the reason for the blaze. A hashtag demanding the well being minister be sacked was trending on Twitter.
In a press release, the federal government’s human rights fee mentioned the incident was “a criminal offense in opposition to sufferers exhausted by Covid-19 who put their lives within the fingers of the well being ministry and its establishments and as a substitute of being handled, perished in flames”.
The fee referred to as on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi to fireplace Well being Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and “deliver him to justice”.
Kadhemi responded by calling for “a right away investigation with these in cost on the ministry” and demanded that the “hospital director, head of safety and the technical upkeep workforce be despatched to the investigators and never be launched till these at fault have been delivered to justice”.
He additionally declared three days of nationwide mourning.