Connect with us

NEWS

At least 64 killed, 67 missing in coronavirus hospital fire in Iraq

Published

on

AT LEAST 64 people were killed and over 67 injured in a fire likely caused by an oxygen tank explosion at a coronavirus hospital in Iraq’s southern city of Nassiriya, health officials and police said yesterday.

  As rescuers combed the smoke-charred building in search of more bodies, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held urgent meetings with senior ministers and ordered the suspension and arrest of health and civil defense managers in Nassiriya, his office said in a statement.

  The manager of the hospital was also suspended and ordered to be arrested, the statement added.

  Already decimated by war and sanctions, Iraq’s healthcare system has struggled to cope with the coronavirus crisis, which has killed 17,592 people and infected more than 1.4 million.

  Health officials at Nassiriya said search operations at the al-Hussain coronavirus hospital were continuing after the fire was brought under control, but thick smoke was making it difficult to enter some of the burnt wards.

  Initial police reports suggested that an oxygen tank explosion inside the hospital’s COVID-19 wards was the likely cause of the fire, a policeman at the scene of the fire said.

  It will be recalled that in April, a fire caused by an oxygen tank explosion at a COVID-19 hospital in Baghdad killed at least 82 people and injured 110 others. But sources said earlier the death toll from Monday’s fire could rise as many patients were still missing. Two health workers were among the dead, they said.

Angry relatives gathered in front of the hospital and clashed with police, setting fire to two police vehicles, a Reuters witness said.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending