B.At least 51 people are reported to have died in a fire in a hospital in southern Iraq. The state television reported on Monday evening. Southern Dhi Qar Province Health Authority spokesman Ammar Bashar confirmed the figure. The bodies of the victims were recovered after the fire was extinguished. The people died of severe burns. 16 patients could have been saved from the burning ward, according to hospital circles.
The hospital is located in the city of Nasiriyah in the province of Dhi Qar, around 370 kilometers south of the capital Baghdad. Bashar said there were 63 Covid patients in the hospital’s isolation department.
Eyewitnesses reported the explosion
Witnesses reported to the German Press Agency that the fire broke out due to the explosion of an oxygen cylinder, but there was initially no official confirmation. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kasimi held an emergency meeting with several ministers and security officials to investigate the causes of the fire, the cabinet said.
When black smoke rose over the building, dozens of people ran in to help people in the hospital, the witnesses said. Civil protection teams from the surrounding provinces were called to help in Nasiriya and managed to put out the fire, said the head of the civil protection department, Kadhem Bohan, in a statement.
It was only in April that there was a devastating fire in a corona clinic in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in which 82 people died and 110 others were injured. The then Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi resigned in response to the fire disaster, the cause of which was stated to be incorrectly stored oxygen bottles.