Another 110 individuals have been injured within the blaze at Ibn al-Khatib Hospital, in line with ministry spokesman Major General Khaled Al-Muhanna.
The hearth is believed to have began after oxygen tanks exploded, in line with two well being officers on the hospital.
Murtadha Riyadh’s grandmother and aunt have been each on the hospital’s second flooring ICU ward when the fireplace erupted.
He was close by selecting up drugs for his grandmother when he out of the blue heard explosions, he instructed CNN. “I ran back to the hospital. I called them to check on them. They told me, ‘Don’t come up, we are being evacuated,’ but they could not make it.”
“I rushed to the first floor (of the hospital) to help but I could not, I was suffocating. Then fire broke out,” Riyadh mentioned.
Minutes later well being employees and neighborhood volunteers began finishing up charred our bodies.
Social media movies confirmed a chaotic scene as firefighters scrambled to place out the blaze and well being employees tried to evacuate sufferers. Health employees and civil protection groups have been in the end capable of save at the very least 200 individuals, together with sufferers, in line with Iraq’s Health Ministry.
But neither Riyadh’s grandmother, Noriya Fatthala, 75, nor his aunt, Rajaa Ali, 60, can be among the many survivors.
“Both my grandmother and my aunt died of suffocation,” Riyadh instructed CNN at a morgue in Baghdad the place he waited to gather their our bodies, bloody gashes from his failed rescue try nonetheless seen throughout one arm.
“No one could imagine this could happen, but it’s all bad management,” Riyadh instructed CNN. “I blame health sector.”
A political reckoning
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has mentioned that 10 million Iraqi dinar ($6,800) can be given to members of the family of every sufferer.
He has additionally ordered the suspension of Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and Baghdad Governor Mohammed al-Atta throughout an emergency session along with his cupboard Sunday. The two can be questioned in connection to the hospital hearth, in line with a press release launched by al-Kadhimi’s workplace.
The Prime Minister ordered an “investigation that should be completed within five days, and a report to be submitted to the Council of Ministers,” it mentioned.
Civil protection groups are nonetheless “investigating the causes that led to this fire,” in line with a Health Ministry assertion.
People from throughout Iraq are referred to the hospital in southeastern Baghdad, together with many with Covid-19.
Twenty-eight of the recognized victims have been being handled in Covid-19 ICU wards, mentioned Ali Akram al-Bayati of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq (IHCHR). The group has described the incident as a “crime against patients who were forced by the severity of the disease as a result of Covid-19 infection to be hospitalized.”
Iraqi President Barham Salih has supplied condolences to the households of the victims, saying these discovered accountable have to be held accountable.
In a press release launched by his workplace, Salih supported “the decisions adopted by the Iraqi government and the Parliament to call for an immediate investigation into the cause of the blaze until those at fault have been brought to justice,” the assertion added. He additionally urged all potential efforts to deal with these injured within the hearth.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, expressed “shock and pain at the enormity of the tragic incident” affecting Covid-19 sufferers on the hospital, in line with a press release from her workplace Sunday.
Journalists Aqeel Najim in Baghdad and Eyad Kourdi in Gaziantep contributed to this report.