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Iraq: Scores killed as fire breaks out in corona ward

July 13, 2021 at 12:48 pm

People gather as a massive fire engulfs the coronavirus isolation ward of Al-Hussein hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, late on July 12, 2021 [ASAAD NIAZI/AFP via Getty Images]

The death toll from the fire that broke out yesterday evening in an isolation ward for coronavirus patients in a hospital in Dhi Qar Governorate, southern Iraq, has risen to 41, Anadolu reported.

A spokesman for the Dhi Qar Health Directorate, Ammar Al-Zamili, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that “41 people were killed as a result of the fire that broke out in Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the city of Nasiriyah while dozens were wounded.”

Earlier, a medical source at Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital told Anadolu that a huge fire broke out in the isolation and treatment ward for covid patients in the hospital, which includes dozens of patients and their companions.

Although the cause of the fire was not officially announced, local media reported that it had been caused by an explosion in the oxygen cylinder warehouse.

READ: Rockets target army base housing US troops in western Iraq

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi held an emergency ministerial and security meeting to discuss the causes of the fire.

Taking to Twitter, Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbousi said the tragedy “is clear evidence of the failure to protect the Iraqi people’s lives.”

This is the second fire of its kind in less than three months.

On 24 April, a fire broke out in Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in the capital, Baghdad, when an oxygen cylinder exploded, killing 82 and wounding 110 others.