Hassan Hamid Al-Baldawi : The Ministry of Interior announced that the number of victims of the fire that broke out in a hospital for Corona patients in Baghdad has risen to about 82 dead and dozens of wounded, in a toll expected to rise, while many calls have been made to hold those responsible for the accident accountable, amid official mourning.
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced Sunday (April 25, 2021) that the death toll from the fire that broke out on Saturday night at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad, designated for those infected with the Coronavirus, has risen to 82 dead and 110 injured. Medical sources and civil defense men said that the victims were using artificial respirators when oxygen cylinders exploded, causing the fire.
On Sunday, the Governmental Human Rights Commission announced that the number of victims of the fire that broke out on Saturday night at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad had risen to 58. "The number of deaths as a result of the Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital fire is 58, of whom 28 were in the Lung Resuscitation Corridor," UNHCR member Ali Al-Bayati said in a tweet on Twitter. And a previous toll spoke that 23 people were killed in the fire.
In turn, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jenin Hennis Blasshardt, expressed the shock and pain of the enormity of the tragic accident that affected Corona virus patients lying in Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad last night.
In a press release, the Special Representative called for stronger protection measures to be taken to ensure that such a disaster does not happen again. She emphasized that the United Nations continues to provide vital support to the health sector in Iraq amid the pandemic and the increase in infections, and it is ready to provide more assistance to health authorities in combating the disease.
And calls have been made in Iraq for the resignation of officials The fire in the hospital designated for Covid-19 patients in a country that has suffered from a decades-old health system. Medical Sources told Al-Hayat Press that the fire started in oxygen cylinders "stored without observing safety requirements" at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad..
The sources said that the fire was caused by negligence, often linked to corruption, in a country of forty million people and its hospitals in poor condition, and a large number of its doctors emigrated due to repeated wars forty years ago..
After this fire, the hashtag "resignation of the Minister of Health" dominated the keywords on Twitter in Iraq. In the early hours of Sunday morning, while dozens of relatives of "thirty patients in the intensive care unit" were in Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital, which is designated for the most severe cases of Corona injuries, the flames reached the upper floors, according to a medical source.
The civil defense said, "The hospital did not have a fire protection system, and the false ceilings allowed the fire to spread to highly flammable materials." "Most of the victims died because they were taken or deprived of ventilators, while others suffocated with smoke," he added".
The Iraqi government declared public mourning and an investigation was underway. Today, Sunday (April 25, 2021), Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi announced a state of official mourning for a period of three days for the lives of the victims of the Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital fire. For its part, the Ministry of Health and Environment in Iraq announced today, Sunday, the referral of a number of heads of medical departments at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital for investigation over the background of the fire that destroyed several floors of the hospital, causing casualties and injuries.
A statement by the ministry said at dawn today, "The Prime Minister decided to suspend all of the Director General of the Baghdad Health Department Al-Rusafa, the Director of Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital, the Administrative and Technical Assistant of the Hospital and the Director of the Engineering and Maintenance Department, and conduct an urgent investigation with them to announce his results to the public." The statement added, "In this critical atmosphere and conditions that Iraq is going through," a major fire occurred in Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital on the Rusafa side of Baghdad. Civil defense teams are still at the site of the accident, investigating the causes that led to this fire, which caused the loss of the lives of many patients and their companions ".