13 July 2021,
According to Iraqi state media 64 people are known to have died in a major fire at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in the south of the country. It appears the fire was caused by the explosion of oxygen tanks.
The hospital building was newly opened just three months ago. It seems the hospital was unable to withstand the force of what was likely to be an oxygen tank explosion. Quickly, the front door was burning and the backdoor was closed so people couldn’t get out.
A witness says people were stuck inside and then the ceiling fell on them. The flames soared high and spread fast. Rescue workers were unable to make it through the thick smoke. People were struggling to fight the fire to save those trapped inside fighting COVID-19.
The pandemic was already proving too much for Iraq’s woeful health system to cope with. This is the second such tragedy in a matter of months. In April more than 80 people died after an oxygen cylinder exploded at a coveted hospital in Baghdad.