Nassiriya, Iraq – A massive fire on Monday at the Covid isolation ward of the Al Hussein Hospital in Nassiriya has left at least 92 dead, and the death toll will likely grow. About 20 of the bodies were burned beyond recognition, and will now have to be DNA tested to determine the identities of the victims. At least 100 others were injured in the blaze.
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Authorities stated that this fire was ignited by the explosion of oxygen tanks due to faulty wiring- the same issue that sparked another hospital fire in Baghdad in April that killed 80 and injured 110. Authorities also stated there was a lack of fire extinguishers and padlocked doors that prevented rescuers from entry. (All Arab News)
“The hospital lacks a fire sprinkler system or even a simple fire alarm. We complained many times over the past three months that a tragedy could happen any moment from a cigarette stub but every time we get the same answer from health officials: ‘we don’t have enough money’.”Unnamed medic
Thoughts & prayers w all affected by the horrific fire accident in the covid ward of #Nassiriya hospital in #Iraq. Deep condolences to the bereaved families. Speedy recovery of all the injured.https://t.co/nO7in934Gn @BarhamSalih @Fuad_Hussein1 @Iraqimofa @IraqiGovt @EUinIraq pic.twitter.com/KBWR7eau4G— Euripides L Evriviades 🇨🇾🇪🇺 (@eevriviades) July 13, 2021
Another tragedy hits the health sector in #Iraq in less than 2 months, we express our deepest & heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the blaze at Al Hussein hospital in #Nassiriya today and we wish speedy recovery to those injured#مستشفى_الحسين pic.twitter.com/U53Uwzv4RF— ICRC Iraq (@ICRC_IQ) July 13, 2021
The Covid ward had numerous patients on oxygen with few safety measures in place. The fire trapped many of them inside, with no one to reach them. The ward was divided by lightweight panels, which investigators said made the fire spread faster. The Iraqi government had anyone responsible arrested.
Health and civil defense managers in the city and the hospital’s manager had been suspended and arrested on Monday on the orders of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, his office said…
A Nassiriya court said it had ordered the arrest of 13 local officials in connection with the fire.
President Barham Salih said on Twitter both fires were “the result of endemic corruption and mismanagement that disregards the lives of Iraqis”.NBC
Featured photo: Twitter
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