Covid patients were caught in a raging fire in Baghdad


At least 23 people have been killed in a fire at a coronavirus treatment center in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

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Dozens of others were injured in the blaze, which erupted at Ibn Khatib hospital on Saturday night.

Reports say the accident had caused the oxygen tank to explode, causing a fire.

Videos on social media show firefighters fighting to put out fires as people flee the building.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called for an immediate investigation into what he called “serious accidents”.

Iraq’s Chief of Defense Forces, Major General Kadhim Bohan, told state media that the fire broke out in a hospital intensive care unit, on the floor “set aside for lung resuscitation”.

By now, emergency personnel had rescued 90 out of 120 patients and relatives, the state-run news agency INA quoted him as saying.

About “30 patients were in the intensive care unit”, which was set aside for more severe Covid-19 cases in Baghdad, a hospital source told AFP news agency.

The injured and uninjured patients have been taken by ambulance to other nearby hospitals.

Iraqi civilian defense said the fire was under control Sunday morning.

Baghdad Governor Mohammed Jaber backed the prime minister’s call for an immediate inquiry into whether anyone should be “brought to justice” for negligence.

In a statement, the state human rights commission said the incident was a “crime against Covid-19 patients”.

Reports say an oxygen tank explosion was the cause of GETTY’s hot images

Iraqi hospitals have been pushed to the limit during the coronavirus epidemic, exacerbating the problems caused by years of war, neglect and corruption.

Coronavirus infections have been on the rise since February in Iraq, with over one million cases reported this week.

The Ministry of Health has recorded a total of 1,025,288 cases of the disease and 15,217 deaths since the outbreak began.

The country launched its immunization campaign last month, and has received nearly 650,000 doses, most of which came from Covax, a global program to share jabs.

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