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Iraqi well being officers say 58 lifeless in coronavirus ward hearth

A hearth swept by way of a coronavirus ward in southern Iraq, killing at the very least 50 individuals and injuring dozens extra, Iraqi medical officers stated late Monday.

A person inspects the harm on the web site the place a hearth broke out at al-Hussein Educating Hospital, sweeping by way of a coronavirus ward, in Nassiriya, Iraq, early Tuesday. (Essam al-Sudani/Reuters)

The dying toll from a catastrophic blaze that erupted at a coronavirus hospital ward in southern Iraq the day before today rose to 58 on Tuesday, Iraqi medical officers stated.

Two well being officers stated that greater than 100 individuals have been additionally injured within the hearth that torched the coronavirus ward of al-Hussein Educating Hospital within the metropolis of Nasiriyah on Monday.

Earlier, officers had stated the fireplace was brought on by an electrical quick circuit, however haven’t offered extra particulars. One other official stated the blaze erupted when an oxygen cylinder exploded. The officers spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to journalists.

The brand new ward, opened simply three months in the past, contained 70 beds.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi chaired an emergency assembly within the wake of the fireplace and ordered the suspension and arrest of the well being director in Dhi Qar province, the place Nasiriyah is situated, in addition to the director of the hospital and the town’s director of civil defence. A authorities investigation was additionally launched.

Individuals react because the physique of a sufferer is loaded onto a car outdoors al-Hussain hospital after the fireplace. (Essam al-Sudani/Reuters)

It was the second time a big hearth has killed coronavirus sufferers in an Iraqi hospital this yr. At the very least 82 individuals died at Ibn al-Khateeb hospital in Baghdad in April when an oxygen tank exploded, sparking the blaze.

That incident dropped at gentle widespread negligence and systemic mismanagement in Iraq’s hospitals. Medical doctors have decried lax security guidelines, particularly round oxygen cylinders.

Iraq is within the midst of one other extreme COVID-19 wave. Each day coronavirus charges peaked final week at 9,000 new instances.

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