Hospital explosion kills 82, injures 110 civilians in Iraq

82 people died in a hospital fire Saturday night in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad after an oxygen tank exploded.

82 people died in a hospital fire Saturday night in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad after an oxygen tank exploded. Photo/Pexels.

CAPE TOWN, April 25 (ANA) – At least 82 people died in a hospital fire in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said Sunday.

According to medical reports, the fire at the Ibn al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad started on Saturday night after an accident caused an oxygen tank to explode, international media reported.

Two hospital health authorities who spoke to CNN confirmed the fire began after oxygen tanks burst.

Major General Khaled Al-Muhanna, a military spokesman, said another 110 people were injured in the fire.

Al Jazeera reported that civil defence officials said the flames spread rapidly because “the hospital had no fire protection system and false ceilings allowed the flames to spread to highly flammable products”.

Media reported that firefighters rushed to put out the blaze as health staff attempted to rescue people.

According to the Iraq health ministry, health staff and civil defence personnel were able to rescue at least 200 lives, including patients.

“Civil defence teams are still at the scene of the accident, investigating the causes that led to this fire, which caused the loss of the lives of many of patients and their companions,” the Iraq health ministry said in a statement.

Three days of national mourning was announced, and parliament said that it would hold a public ceremony on Monday to commemorate the tragedy.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Devereaux Morkel

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