Fire at Iraq Covid Hospital Kills at Least 39

CAIRO — At least 39 individuals had been killed and greater than 20 injured in a hearth at a coronavirus hospital in Nasiriya in southern Iraq, well being officers and the police mentioned Monday.

“Health crews carried charred bodies out of the burning hospital while many patients were coughing from the rising smoke,” a Reuters reporter at the positioning of the hearth web site mentioned.

The state-run Iraq News Agency cited well being ministry officers as saying that search operations at the al-Hussain coronavirus hospital had been persevering with after the hearth was introduced beneath management.

“Raging fires have trapped many patients inside the coronavirus ward and rescue teams are struggling to reach them,” a well being employee informed Reuters earlier than getting into the burning constructing.

Initial police stories instructed that an oxygen tank explosion contained in the hospital’s Covid-19 ward was the seemingly explanation for the hearth, a policeman at the scene of the hearth mentioned.

Health sources mentioned the loss of life toll may rise as many sufferers had been nonetheless lacking. Two well being staff had been among the many useless, they mentioned.

In April, a hearth brought on by an oxygen tank explosion at a Covid-19 hospital in Baghdad killed at least 82 individuals whereas injuring 110.

Already decimated by warfare and sanctions, Iraq’s well being care system has struggled to deal with the coronavirus disaster, which has killed 17,548 individuals and contaminated greater than 1.429 million.