Daily US Times: At least 41 people have been killed in a hospital fire on Monday night in the southeastern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, the spokesperson for the local health department Dr. Ammar al-Zamili said.
At least 5 people were critically injured at al-Hussein hospital.
Al-Zamili said that the fire is believed to have started after oxygen tanks exploded in an ICU treating Covid-19 patients.
He said the civil defense teams managed to control and put out the major fire that broke out in the hospital with the help of health workers and neighborhood volunteers,” al-Zamili told CNN.
Al-Zamili and other health officials couldn’t say how many people were inside the hospital when the fire broke out but said an operation is continuing to evacuate people “if they are still alive,” including health workers.
Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, the Prime Minister of Iraq, will hold an emergency meeting with a number of security commanders and ministers “to find out the causes and repercussions” of the deadly fire, his office said Tuesday morning.
Speaker of the parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi tweeted the fire shows a failure to protect lives “and it is time to put an end to this catastrophic failure, and Parliament will shift today’s session to examine options regarding what happened.”
Al-Hussein Hospital was set up to treat coronavirus patients at the start of the pandemic and has quarantine stations on site.
At least 82 people were killed in April in a huge fire at a Covid-19 hospital in Baghdad. That fire had started after oxygen tanks exploded in the Covid-19 ICU.
Nasiriya is about 360 kilometers (225 miles) southeast of Baghdad.