11 babies killed in fire at Baghdad hospital maternity unit

11 babies killed in fire at Baghdad hospital maternity unit

Eleven newborn babies have died in a fire at a Baghdad hospital, an Iraqi government spokesman said.

The blaze was reported to have been caused by electrical wiring.

It broke out late on Tuesday night inside the maternity department at the Yarmouk hospital, in the west of the capital, according to Health Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Roudaini.

An initial investigation suggested the fire was due to an electricity failure, Mr al-Roudaini added. No other details were immediately available.

Baghdad authorities quickly sealed off the hospital and were barring the 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 Baghdad and elsewhere across the country because of shoddy maintenance and poor wiring.

A lack of fire escapes also contributes to the danger whenever a blaze breaks out.

There is also widespread failure by construction companies and those providing building material to follow accepted standards.

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