Mo­saic is un­cov­ered

Grief and anger af­ter blaze at hos­pi­tal

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A fire has ripped through a ma­ter­nity ward at a Bagh­dad hos­pi­tal, killing 11 new­born ba­bies, an Iraqi spokesman said.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, grief-stricken fa­thers were search­ing for their miss­ing new­borns in vain while an­gry rel­a­tives who gath­ered out­side the Yar­mouk hos­pi­tal in western Bagh­dad blamed the gov­ern­ment for the tragedy.

Iraqi Health Min­istry spokesman Ahmed Al Roudaini said the blaze broke out late on Tues­day night and that the ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­di­cated it was an elec­tri­cal fire.

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.

At the ma­ter­nity ward, foren­sic teams in masks and pro­tec­tive gloves were seen search­ing through the rub­ble and charred pieces of fur­ni­ture. A yel­low tape was stretched across the ward en­trance.

Some of the cry­ing rel­a­tives out­side claimed their ba­bies were still miss­ing and de­manded an an­swer from au­thor­i­ties.

One fa­ther, 30-year-old Hus­sein Omar, a con­struc­tion worker, said he lost twins in the blaze, a baby boy and a girl born last week. The hos­pi­tal told him to go look for them at another Bagh­dad hos­pi­tal where some of the pa­tients were moved to dur­ing the fire.

He said he looked and couldn’t find them any­where so he came back to Yar­mouk. The hos­pi­tal staff then told him to go look at the morgue.

“I only found charred pieces of flesh,” Omar said, cry­ing. “I want my baby boy and girl back.” Elec­tri­cal fires are com­mon in the Iraqi cap­i­tal and else­where across the coun­try, gen­er­ally blamed on poor main­te­nance and wiring.

A mo­saic floor dat­ing back to the 4th cen­tury and de­pict­ing scenes from a char iot race in the hip­po­drome has been un­cov­ered, the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of only a hand­ful in the world, a Cypriot ar­chae­ol­o­gist said yes­ter­day. The mo­saic is 11m long and 4m wide.

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