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Fire at Iraqi COVID-19 hospital kills 82

Mourners pray near the coffins of coronavirus patients who were killed in a hospital fire. Associated Press/ Photo by Anmar Khalil

Fire at Iraqi COVID-19 hospital kills 82

Fire ripped through the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital on Saturday after an oxygen cylinder exploded. The “volcanoes of fire” killed at least 82 people and wounded more than 100. Most of the victims were being treated for severe cases of COVID-19.

How has the government responded? Iraq’s prime minister blamed the fire on widespread negligence. Following a special cabinet meeting, the government suspended key officials, including the health minister and the governor of Baghdad province. Iraq is struggling through a second wave of coronavirus cases. Daily case counts now average around 8,000. That’s the highest level since the country began keeping records early last year.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s column eulogizing a Kurdish doctor who returned to Iraq to help Yazidi victims of ISIS.

Leigh Jones

Leigh is features editor for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD News Group. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.

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