Mosaic is uncovered
Grief and anger after blaze at hospital
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.