BAGHDAD: A fire erupted overnight at a Baghdad hospital and killed 11 newborn babies, an Iraqi spokesman said Wednesday, a deadly blaze that was caused by electrical wiring.
The blaze broke out late on Tuesday night inside the maternity department at the Yarmouk hospital, located in western Baghdad, according to Iraq’s Health Ministry spokesman, Ahmed al-Roudaini.
An initial investigation suggested the fire was due to an electricity failure, al-Roudaini added. No other details were immediately available.
Baghdad authorities quickly sealed off the hospital and were barring then media from the site. Mada Press, an independent news agency in Baghdad, reported that 29 female patients and seven babies were moved from the ward where the fire broke out and transferred to another hospital.
Electrical fires are common in the Iraqi capital and elsewhere across the country because of shoddy maintenance and poor wiring.
A lack of fire escapes also contributes to the danger whenever a fire breaks out. There is also widespread failure by construction companies and those providing building material to follow accepted standards. -AP