Members of Iraqi security forces stand at the gate of Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad, on April 25, 2021, after a fire erupted in the medical facility reserved for the most severe COVID-19 cases.
Members of Iraqi security forces stand at the gate of Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad, on April 25, 2021, after a fire erupted in the medical facility reserved for the most severe COVID-19 cases.
AFP Photo

An Iraqi official has confirmed that 58 people were killed in the Baghdad Covid hospital fire, AFP reported.

A fire broke out in a Baghdad hospital that cares for coronavirus patients after oxygen cylinders reportedly exploded late Saturday, officials said.

Firefighters rushed to put out the flames and clear outpatients at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital, which provides care for severe coronavirus patients in its intensive care unit.

Initial reports showed at least 36 people wounded in addition to the 15 dead, according to medical and security officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Iraqi authorities have not released to an official casualty count.

There were at least 120 patients in the hospital at the time of the fire, a doctor at the hospital said. The fire is believed to have been caused when at least one oxygen cylinder exploded inside the hospital, local media reported.

At least two doctors at the scene confirmed they believed the oxygen cylinder had caused the flame that raged on the second floor of the hospital.

Iraq is in the midst of a severe COVID-19 wave. Daily coronavirus rates now average above 8,000 new cases, the highest since the pandemic broke out in the country last year.

The government is urging the public to get vaccinated, but demand has been low due to widespread mistrust of the health care system and the vaccines in particular.

(With inputs from PTI)

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