Fire kills over 80 COVID-19 patients at an Iraqi hospital.
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According to two local Health officials, on Saturday night two oxygen tanks exploded causing a huge fire at the Ibn al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. Health officials estimated that 110 were injured due to the explosion, and the fire that ensued killed at least 82 COVID-19 patients. The situation was described as chaotic and patients were transferred to other hospitals.
On Sunday, the Iraqi Health Ministry released a statement,
Civil defense teams are still at the scene of the accident, investigating the causes that led to this fire, which caused the loss of the lives of many of patients and their companions.Iraqi Health Ministry Statement
The Health Ministry said that they were able to save over 200 people from the hospital fire and the death toll will be updated later.
It is believed that the fire broke out on the floor which was designated for pulmonary intensive care unit. The Iraqi civil defense unit also said that they managed to save 90 of the 120 people in that floor.
The fire has been extinguished but it complicates the situation for the healthcare system even further. The country’s health system was already in a bad state before COVID-19, due to years of war, sanctions and neglect. The pandemic overstretched the already ruined healthcare system.