At least 64 dead, 22 wounded in Iraq Covid ward fire: health official

At least 64 dead, 22 wounded in Iraq Covid ward fire: health official

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Nasiriyah: A health official said that on Monday, a fire engulfed the coronavirus isolation ward of an Iraqi hospital, killing at least 64 people and injuring 22 others.

On Monday evening, a fire broke out in the Hussein Hospital in the southern city of Nasiriyah in Iraq. The local civil defense forces have taken control of it.

A medical source from the Health Bureau told AFP that “the main reason behind the fire… is the explosion of the oxygen tank.”

Haydar al-Zamili, the local health authority s spokesperson, said early Tuesday 64 bodies were retrieved and another 22 people were wounded in the latest toll, after the fire had “ripped through the Covid isolation ward”.

“The victims died of burns and the search is continuing,” he added, noting that there were fears people could still be trapped inside the building.

The ward had space for 70 beds.

The deadly hospital blaze is the second such fire in Iraq in three months.

Outside the hospital, dozens of young demonstrators protested.

“The (political) parties have burned us,” they shouted in unison.

The fire also triggered strong calls on social media for the resignation of senior officials.

Local authorities implemented a state of emergency in Zigar province in the capital Nasiriyah and ordered doctors on leave to help treat the wounded.

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