No fewer than 82 people died in a huge hospital fire on Saturday night in Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry said another 110 more people were hurt, and that the death toll was expected to rise as more patients who suffered severe burns succumbed to their injuries.
Health authorities said the blaze was sparked by an accident that made an oxygen tank explode.
The head of Iraq’s Civil Defence, Gen Kadhim Bohan, said the fire had broken out in the hospital’s intensive-care unit, on a floor “designated for pulmonary resuscitation”.
In response to the fire, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday said that 10 million Iraqi dinar ($6,800) will be given to family members of each victim.
He has also ordered the suspension of Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and Baghdad Governor Mohammed al-Atta during an emergency session with his cabinet Sunday.
According to a statement released by al-Kadhimi’s office, the two will be questioned in connection to the hospital fire
The Prime Minister also ordered an “investigation that should be completed within five days, and a report to be submitted to the Council of Ministers,” it said.