Dozens reported dead & injured after explosion sparks fire in Iraqi Covid-19 hospital (VIDEO)
Ibn al-Khatib hospital, located in southwestern Baghdad, caught fire late on Saturday, prompting frantic efforts to evacuate some 120 patients.
Dozens of victims of the Ibn al-Khatib hospital fire in Baghdad, 23 martyrs as a preliminary toll, and the numbers are escalating._________________________دەیان قوربانی بە هۆی سوتانی نەخۆشخانەی ئیبن ئەلخەتیب لە بەغدا، 23 شەهید وەک ژمارەی سەرەتایی . pic.twitter.com/ybYbSPyo0l— Murad Kurdistani (@Murad_Officiall) April 24, 2021
Footage shared on social media shows flames and black smoke billowing from the windows of the facility, known for treating coronavirus patients.
41 dead and wounded in an oxygen canister explosion in Al-Khatib Hospital in Baghdad. pic.twitter.com/NtrwsyzdVm— Mustafa Saadoon (@SaadoonMustafa) April 24, 2021
A loud blast can be heard rocking the hospital, which was already engulfed in flames.
Another video shows locals climbing up the walls of the burning building in a bid to help bring the fleeing patients to safety.
Thoughts & prayers are with the people of #Baghdad, after an explosion occurred in the health isolation corridors of #Covid_19 patients at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital in the Iraqi capital.Video via locals which shows civilians are rescuing the people who stuck inside the hospital. pic.twitter.com/G60sEVHCdV— Lawk Ghafuri (@LawkGhafuri) April 24, 2021
Despite the efforts of locals and fire fighters, at least 27 people were killed in the blaze and some 46 injured, Reuters reported, citing medical sources. Dozens of ambulances were scrambled to transport the rescued patients to other hospitals.
The blaze is believed to have originated on a floor of the hospital that houses a pulmonary intensive care unit, authorities said. Apparently, the fire was triggered by an explosion in an oxygen gas cylinder, essential for treating severe Covid-19 cases.
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