12 newborns die in Baghdad hospital blaze

At least 11 prematurely born babies were killed in a fire that broke out in the early hours on a maternity ward in a Baghdad hospital and was probably caused by an electrical fault, the health ministry said.
12 newborns die in Baghdad hospital blaze

Seven other babies and 29 women were rescued from the Yarmuk hospital’s maternity ward and transferred to another hospital.

Firefighters took three hours to put out the blaze, according to a medical staffer. Yarmuk is main hospital on the western side of the Iraqi capital. The incident is likely to intensify public accusations of state corruption and mismanagement.

Pictures posted on social media showed the hospital in a state of neglect, with cockroaches crawling out from between broken tiles, bins overflowing with rubbish, dirty toilets, and patients lying on stretchers in the courtyard.

Thirteen years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, the oil-rich country still suffers a shortage of electricity, water, schools, and hospitals.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been trying for more than two years to tackle corruption, but has faced resistance from much of the political elite.

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