Baghdad hospital fire death toll rises to 82

A view of the hospital after a fire broke out (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The death toll from a fire at a hospital in Baghdad on Saturday rose to 82, the Iraqi ministry of interior said on Sunday.

The fire sparked by an oxygen tank explosion erupted at the Ibn Khatib hospital in the Diyala Bridge area.

The Iraqi ministry of interior said in a statement that 110 more people were wounded in the fire.

Following the incident, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held an emergency meeting with a number of ministers, security leaders and officials at the Baghdad Operations Command headquarters in the early hours of Sunday.

“Such an incident is evidence of negligence and therefore I directed that an investigation be launched immediately and for the hospital’s manager and the heads of security and maintenance to be detained along with all those concerned until we identify those negligent and hold them accountable,” Kadhimi said.

He also called for the results of the investigation to be available within 24 hours and hold the negligent people accountable.

Iraq’s healthcare system, already ruined by decades of sanctions, war and neglect, has been stretched during the coronavirus crisis.

The total number of people infected with COVID-19 in Iraq is 102,5288 including 15,217 deaths, the health ministry said on Saturday.

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