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Death Toll In Fire At Iraqi COVID-19 Hospital Surpasses 80

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Mourners pray near the coffins of coronavirus patients who were killed in a hospital fire, during their funeral at the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Iraq’s Interior Ministry said Sunday that over 80 people died and over 100 were injured in a catastrophic fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital tending to severe coronavirus patients in the early morning Sunday. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

(AP) — More than 80 people have died in a catastrophic fire at a Baghdad hospital for coronavirus patients.

Officials from Iraq’s Interior Ministry say the blaze that started late Saturday was caused by an exploding oxygen cylinder. Among the dead were at least 28 patients on ventilators battling severe symptoms of the coronavirus.

Negligence by hospital authorities has been blamed for the fire. The prime minister suspended and fired senior health officials and ordered an investigation. Some relatives were still searching for unaccounted loved ones on Sunday.

 

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