64 people dead after COVID-19 ward hospital, oxygene tank, fire in Iraq
Iraqi state media says 64 people are now known to have died in a major fire at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in the south of the country. It appears the fire was caused by the explosion of oxygen tanks.
Iraq’s prime minister mustafa al hadhimi has declared a state of emergency in the region
and ordered that the head of the al-hussein hospital in nasseria be arrested. Here’s our correspondent in the middle east gene mckenzie the flames soared high and spread fast. Crews struggling to fight the fire to
save those trapped inside fighting covid 19.
Rescue workers were unable to make it
through the thick smoke. This morning relatives were left to search for their loved ones. Among a pile of burnt bodies the temporary covered ward left mangled by the heat. The building was new opened just three months ago. A basic structure tapped onto the side of the hospital. Unable to withstand the force of what was likely an oxygen tank exploding. It quickly became a tinderbox. The front door was burning and the back. Door was closed. So people couldn’t get out this witness. People were stuck inside and then the ceiling fell on them. The pandemic was already proving too
much for iraq’s woeful health system to cope with. On its knees after years of war neglect and chronic mismanagement covered cases here were climbing.
Grief quickly turned to anger crowds gathered outside the hospital
chanting against authorities and a health system. That has once again failed to protect them. This is the second such tragedy in a
matter of months in april l.
More than 80 people died after an oxygen cylinder exploded. At a coveted hospital in baghdad
as more bodies are counted. The prime
minister mustafa al-kadimi has ordered the arrest of health officials and the hospital manager. Promising repercussions for this
catastrophic failing that a place intended to save.