A tragic fire that broke out in the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital Sunday has left 82 people dead and another 110 injured. The unit was set aside to care specifically for severe coronavirus patients.
The investigation into the fire at Ibn al Khatib Hospital is still ongoing. Officials currently suspect that an oxygen cylinder exploded, sparking the fire.
Nurses and doctors on duty attempted to rescue patients and evacuate anyone they could. Reports say that at least 28 of the dead were patients already on ventilators due to COVID-19 – a condition that made them unable to be evacuated. Nurses say that some who died were family members of those ventilator patients who were unwilling to leave the side of their loved ones.
"We mourn the loss of life in the fire at Ibn al-Khatib hospital in Baghdad," Jake Sullivan, U.S. national security adviser, said Sunday. "We are in touch with Iraqi officials and have offered assistance. Our strategic partnership with Iraq is first and foremost a partnership between our two peoples. We are prepared to support the Government of Iraq and its people at this tragic moment."