Aftermath of a fire at Ibn Al-Khatib Hospital, south of Baghdad, Iraq, 25 April 2021. At least 27 people died and dozens were injured when a fire broke out following the explosion of oxygen tanks at the hospital equipped to treat COVID-19 patients on 24 April. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

At least 82 people were killed by a fire in Baghdad’s hospital, while another 110 people were injured, the Baghdad Al Youm news portal reported on Sunday, citing the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Major General Khalid al-Muhanna.

“The fire at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital killed 82 people, some 110 people were injured, including patients and staff,” the statement reads. “Some victims are in critical condition.” Earlier, 58 deaths were reported.

A major blaze at the Ibn al-Khatib hospital in the Iraqi capital’s southeast occurred on Saturday evening. The two-story building was almost completely burned out from the inside. About 30 fire engines as well as dozens of local residents were involved in putting out the fire. According to the Health Ministry, over 200 patients were rescued.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has already ordered a thorough investigation of the incident, while three days of mourning have been declared across the country. The hospital’s chief doctor as well as the security service’s head and people responsible for maintenance were detained. It was reported that the hospital was not equipped with fire safety systems, and the interior was lined with flammable materials.

After the incident, a number of politicians, public figures and lawmakers have already demanded the resignation of the Iraqi health minister. Furthermore, the Iraqi parliament will hold an emergency meeting on Monday.