Iraq’s Inside Ministry mentioned Sunday that 82 folks died and 110 have been injured in a catastrophic hearth that broke out within the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital tending to extreme coronavirus sufferers.
Negligence on the a part of hospital authorities has been blamed for the Saturday night time hearth, which preliminary studies recommend was triggered when an oxygen cylinder exploded within the ward of Ibn al-Khatib hospital. Iraq’s prime minister fired key hospital officers hours after the catastrophic incident.
Among the many lifeless have been at the very least 28 sufferers on ventilators battling extreme signs of the virus, tweeted Ali al-Bayati, a spokesman of the nation’s unbiased Human Rights Fee. The fee is a semi-official physique.
Firefighters rushed to battle the flames that raged throughout the second flooring of the hospital. Civil protection groups put out flames till the early hours of the morning.
Ambulances transported dozens of wounded. The Well being Ministry mentioned at the very least 200 folks have been rescued from the scene.
Docs on the scene have been frazzled by the chaos unfolding round them. They mentioned quite a few burned our bodies have been carried out by paramedics from the hospital flooring.
The hearth got here as Iraq grapples with a extreme second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Every day virus instances now common round 8,000, the very best since Iraq started recording an infection charges early final yr. At the very least 15,200 folks have died of coronavirus in Iraq amongst a complete of at the very least 100,000 confirmed instances.
In response to the hearth, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi fired the director-general of the Baghdad Well being Division within the al-Rusafa space, the place the hospital is positioned. He additionally fired the director of Ibh al-Khatib Hospital and its director of engineering and upkeep, in response to a press release from the Well being Ministry and his workplace.
After the hearth first broke out, Al-Khadhimi held an emergency assembly on the headquarters of the Baghdad Operations Command, which coordinates Iraqi safety forces, in response to a press release on his Twitter account.
Within the assembly he mentioned the incident amounted to negligence.
“Negligence in such issues will not be a mistake, however against the law for which all negligent events should bear accountability,” he mentioned. He gave Iraqi authorities 24 hours to current the outcomes of an investigation.
U.N. envoy to Iraq Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert expressed “shock and ache” over the incident in a press release and referred to as for stronger safety measures in hospitals.