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Iraq Covid hospital fire

At least 23 people have killed when a fire broke out at a hospital treating patients with the coronavirus in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Dozens of people were injure Saturday night in a fire at Iben Khatib Hospital.

An incident reported to have caused the oxygen tank to explode, leading to the fire.

Video on social media showed firefighters fighting to extinguish the fire as people fled the building.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadimi called for an urgent investigation into the cause of what he called a “tragic accident.”

Maj. Gen. Kadhim Bohan, head of Iraq’s civil defense division, told state media that a fire broke out in the hospital’s intensive care unit on a floor.

The state-run INA news agency cited him as saying emergency workers had already rescued 90 of the 120 patients and family members.

A hospital source told AFP that “about 30 patients are in intensive care” dedicated to the worst cases of COVID-19 in Baghdad.

Injured and non-injured patients have taken by ambulance to other nearby hospitals.

The Iraqi Civil Defense Agency said the fire was under control in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Baghdad Governor Mohammed Jabber responded to the prime minister’s call for an urgent investigation to determine whether anyone had been “brought to justice” by negligence.

The government’s Human Rights Commission said in a statement that the incident was “a crime against a patient who is tired of COVID-19.”

Iraqi hospitals pushed to the border during the coronavirus pandemic, adding to years of war, neglect and corruption.

The rate of covid-19 in Iraq has increased substantially since February, with more than a million cases this week.

Since the pandemic began, the Ministry of Health has recorded 1,025,288 cases and 15,217 deaths.

The country launched a vaccination campaign last month and has received nearly 650,000 duplexes, mostly from Coax, a global vaccine distribution program.

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