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Death toll increases to 82 in Baghdad hospital fire

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - APRIL 24: A view of Ibn al-Hatip Hospital as fire erupts at the hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated in Baghdad, Iraq on April 24, 2021. Nearly 20 people died in a fire at a hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated in Baghdad, according to sources on Saturday. ( Murtadha Al-Sudani - Anadolu Agency )
A view of Ibn al-Hatip Hospital as fire erupts at the hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated in Baghdad, Iraq on April 24, 2021 [Murtadha Al-Sudani - Anadolu Agency]

The death toll from a fire at a COVID-19 hospital in the Iraqi capital Baghdad rose to 82 patients, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.

A ministry statement said that 110 patients were also injured in the fire that took place at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital in Baghdad late Saturday.

According to local media, the fire was caused by the explosion of oxygen tanks at the hospital, where coronavirus patients were being treated.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.

Iraq: Nearly 20 killed in Baghdad hospital fire

"The Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces mourn the martyrs of the tragic incident that took place in Ibn al-Khatib hospital in the capital Baghdad," al-Kadhimi's media office said on Twitter.

According to a statement, al-Kadhimi "ordered an immediate investigation into the causes of the incident" and to "summon the hospital manager, the security manager [of the hospital] and those responsible for the maintenance of the hospital equipment."

For its part, the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq, an official body linked to the Iraqi parliament, called on the Iraqi premier to sack Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and his deputies over the incident.

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CoronavirusIraqMiddle EastNews
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