The death toll from the fire in a hospital in the Iraqi capital Baghdad has risen to at least 82 in a few hours, and the Iraqi Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced. This morning, there were still talk of 27 victims. The number of wounded is now 110.
The hospital is Ibn Khatib in the south of the city. The fire arose in the intensive care unit by an oxygen tank explosion. After that, the fire quickly spread in the building.
There was also a lot of smoke. Panic arose when thick smoke flowed into the corridors. Some jumped out of windows to escape them.
In the hospital, in particular, coronation patients are treated. Hundreds of coronapatics were there on the ventilator. Dozens of wounded have been transferred to hospitals elsewhere in the city.
The fire department was struggling to put out the fire. The fire is now under control.
Images circulating on social media show that there was a lot of chaos in and around the hospital:
According to the Iraqi Prime Minister, there is negligence on the part of the hospital. The top of the clinic and the head of security have been apprehended pending an investigation. “We are holding all those involved until we determine who can be held accountable,” says Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The head of the health service in the Baghdad region has also been dismissed. In addition, others who worked at the top of the hospital were sent out.
Iraq is in the middle of a second wave of coronavirus infections. Around 8000 new infections are reported daily in the country with almost 40 million inhabitants. More than 15,000 people died from the effects of the coronavirus. Iraqs weak health system can hardly cope with the influx of patients.