BAGHDAD — At the very least 82 folks, lots of them older Covid-19 sufferers, had been killed when hearth blamed on an exploding oxygen cylinder swept via a Baghdad hospital unequipped with smoke detectors or hearth homes late on Saturday, in accordance with Iraqi officers. .
The hearth broke out in an intensive care unit of the Ibn al-Khatib hospital and unfold partly due to flammable false ceilings within the wards, the pinnacle of Iraq’s civil protection forces, Maj. Gen. Kadhim Bohan, advised the state-run Iraqiya TV.
“There have been no smoke detectors,” Basic Bohan mentioned. “If there had been smoke detectors, the state of affairs would have been completely totally different.”
One other 110 folks had been injured, mentioned an Inside Ministry spokesman, Khaled al-Muhanna.
Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi referred to as the fireplace a criminal offense and ordered an investigation into doable negligence on the hospital, including that these accountable could be delivered to justice.
He ordered the detention for questioning of the well being director for the realm of Baghdad the place the hospital is situated. The hospital’s director and its head of engineering and upkeep had been additionally ordered detained.
A witness quoted by Reuters information company mentioned that sufferers and medical employees had jumped out of second-story home windows to flee the flames. Some kin exterior the hospital ran again in to attempt to rescue their family members, Reuters reported.
Basic Bohan mentioned that among the victims had been older sufferers on ventilators who couldn’t transfer from their beds when the fireplace began.
Awadh al-Taiee and Nermeen al-Mufti contributed reporting.