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After an ‘oxygen tank explodes’ in Iraq’s Covid hospital, at least 23 people found dead

Firefighters scramble to put out the flames as people flee the house, according to social media videos. Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq's prime minister, has demanded an urgent inquiry into the causes of the "tragic accident."

Major General Kadhim Bohan, the head of Iraq's Civil Defense, told state media that the fire started in the hospital's intensive-care unit, on a floor "designated for pulmonary resuscitation." According to state news agency INA, emergency crews have saved 90 out of 120 patients and relatives so far. The injured and non-injured patients were transported by ambulance to other hospitals in the region.

The fire had been brought to a halt by the early hours of Sunday morning, according to Iraq's Civil Defense. Governor of Baghdad Mohammed Jaber repeated Prime Minister Nouri al-call Maliki's for an immediate inquiry to see whether anybody could be "brought to justice" for negligence.

Since the pandemic started, the health ministry has reported 1,025,288 cases of the disease and 15,217 deaths. Last month, the country began a vaccination campaign and has received nearly 650,000 doses, the majority of which came from Covax, a global vaccination exchange network.

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