In an explosion and a subsequent large fire in the Corona ward of a hospital in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, several people were killed and injured Sunday night. About the incident at Al-Khatib Hospital, security forces and medical staff said that at least 23 people were killed and about 50 wounded.
The oxygen cylinders exploded
So the fire broke out due to the explosion of improperly stored oxygen packages and quickly spread due to the lack of a fire protection system. According to the official news agency, the head of the Civil Protection Authority said that 90 patients out of 120 patients in the ward were rescued. Kazem Bohan said the fire was now extinguished.
The authority did not provide specific information on the number of dead and injured. The Iraqi Ministry of Health spoke of more than 200 patients who had been rescued and announced that it would later publish a register of casualties.
The fire broke out in the intensive care unit, designated for severe Covid 19 cases, in the middle of the night, according to the clinic’s staff. Dozens of relatives monitored the family of about 30 patients. The fire spread over several floors. The Civil Protection Authority said, “The majority of the victims died because they had to be removed from the ventilators.” Others died from smoke inhalation.
Videos posted online showed firefighters trying to put out the flames. Patients and relatives tried to leave the building to safety. Smoke rose from several windows.