Iraq’s hospital fire claimed over 82 lives and injured over 110 people.
Three female Palestinian refugees have died of the wildfires that rocked Ibn AlKhatib Hospital in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad last week, according to the Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry.
The Ministry said, quoting the Palestine Embassy in Iraq, that Hajer Mohamed Yousef AlShaaban, along with her daughter Reyam Abdul Rahman Yousef and her sister Basima Mohamed Yousef AlShaaban breathed their last in the fire.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Reyad AlMaliki, extended his condolences to the victims’ families.
It was a night of unimaginable horror as flames engulfed the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital — deafening screams, a patient jumping to his death to escape the inferno and relatives staying by their loved ones, refusing to abandon coronavirus patients tethered to ventilators.
Iraqi doctors, medical staff and rescue workers who witnessed the first moments of the catastrophic blaze described the scenes, many overcome by trauma and saying that night is forever seared in their memory.
The fire, which erupted late Saturday at the Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital’s coronavirus ward, raged for hours before claiming 82 lives and injuring 110 people. The death toll could still climb, with many of those hurt listed in serious condition.
Officials said the blaze was set off by exploding oxygen cylinders; days later, speculation has run rampant about what caused them to explode. Authorities have yet to issue the results of an official investigation. Senior health officials have been fired or suspended amid allegations of negligence.