Death toll in Iraq COVID hospital fire rises to 66- health officials By Reuters

© Reuters. Mourners react next to the coffins of victims, who were killed in a fire that broke out at al-Hussain coronavirus hospital in Nassiriya, during a funeral in Najaf, Iraq, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani


NASSIRIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – The death toll in a fire at a coronavirus hospital in a southern Iraq city has risen to 66, health officials said on Tuesday, as an angry crowd gathered near the city’s morgue waiting to receive relatives’ bodies.

More than 100 others were injured in Monday night’s fire in the city of Nassiriya, which was thought to have been triggered an exploding oxygen tank, officials said.

Two health officials said the death toll included the remains of 21 charred bodies that were still unidentified.

People gathered at the city morgue blamed local authorities for negligence and lack of safety measures at the hospital.

“No quick response to the fire, not enough firefighters. Sick people burned to death. It’s a disaster,” said Mohammed Fadhil, who was waiting there to receive his bother’s body.

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