Mother and son buried after Iraq's Baghdad hospital fire

Mother and son buried in Najaf after Iraq's Baghdad hospital fire
2 min read
A mother and her son were among the victims of the deadly hospital fire in Baghdad on Saturday night.
The devastating fire took 82 lives [Getty]
A funeral for a mother and her son who died in a massive fire at a Baghdad hospital was held in the Iraqi city of Najaf on Sunday.

The two family members were among the 82 victims who died in the Saturday night fire in Ibn al-Khatib Hospital, where coronavirus patients with severe symptoms were tended for.

Tens of mourners in Sunday funeral were chanting "there is no god but Allah", taking the two bodies to Imam Ali Shrine in the Shiite holy city of Najaf for blessings before heading to the city's Wadi Al-Salam Cemetery for burial, a site considered one of the world's largest graveyards.

Officials said the blaze, which also injured 110 people, was set off by an exploding oxygen cylinder.

Read more: Iraqis blame hospital fire on mismanagement and corruption

Widespread negligence on the part of health officials is to blame for the fire, Iraq's prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said Sunday.

Following a special cabinet meeting to discuss the blaze, the government suspended key officials, including the health minister and the governor of Baghdad province.

Other officials, including the hospital director, were dismissed from their posts.

The fire happened as Iraq grapples with a severe second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily virus cases now average around 8,000, the highest level since Iraq began recording infection rates early last year.

At least 15,200 people have died of coronavirus in Iraq among at least 100,000 confirmed cases.

Years of sanctions and war have crippled the country's health sector, and the latest infection wave has tested the limits of health facilities.

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