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Death toll in Iraq Covid hospital fire rises to 92

RIYADH — The death toll in Iraq’s coronavirus hospital fire in the southern city of Nassiriya has risen to 92. More than 100 people were injured in the fire incident, the state media reported on Tuesday.

The fire, which erupted at Imam Al-Hussein Hospital in the Dhi Qar governorate, the capital of Nassiriya, is likely caused by an oxygen tank explosion, health officials said.

“The victims died of burns and the search is continuing,” said Haydar Al-Zamili, an Iraqi health official, adding that there were fears victims could still be trapped inside the building. The ward itself has space for 60 patients.

The interior ministry said in a statement that “civil defence teams are battling a fire accident in the centre of Dhi Qar governorate inside Imam Al-Hussein Hospital.”

Iraq’s civil defence said the fire was completely under control after authorities evacuated the patients.

Maj. Gen. Kazem Salman Buhan said the hospital is made up of “caravans built with flammable sandwich panels,” adding that he “will soon announce a detailed report on the causes of the fire.”

Dhi Qar’s health department has declared a state of emergency in the governorate, and doctors have been ordered on leave to help treat the injured.

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