The death toll reached 64 and wounded dozens more in the Iraqi city of Nasiriyah after a fire swept through a COVID Isolation Unit.
The devastating last evening blaze in the city’s Al-Hussein Hospital, which medics said was fuelled by the explosion of oxygen canisters, was the second such fire in Iraq in three months.
In all, 64 bodies were retrieved and 39 identified and handed over to their families, a source at the Provincial Forensic Science Department told a news agency.
Medical teams and relatives of victims are finding it difficult to identify the rest of the corpses, the source said, adding that the death count might rise with more bodies feared buried under the rubble.
A hundred people were also wounded in the blaze. Today, as the first of the funerals were held, angry protesters gathered to vent their anger at provincial authorities they hold responsible for the deaths, the news agency said.