Baghdad Hospital Fire Kills 12 Newborns

Iraqi security forces stand guard in front of a maternity ward after a fire broke out at Yarmouk hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, August 10, 2016.

A massive fire occured in the maternity unit of the Yarmouk Hospital in the west of Iraq.

At least 12 newborn babies have died after a fire, apparently caused by an electrical fault, ripped through the maternity ward of a hospital in Baghdad.

Anguished parents gathered outside the Yarmouk hospital, in the west of the Iraqi capital, demanding answers from the government for the tragedy and searching for the remains of their children.

“When I got there I only found charred pieces of flesh,” said a 30-year-old father, Hussein Omar, describing the scene where his newborn twins had perished. “I want my baby boy and girl back. The government must give them back to me.”

Eshrak Ahmed Jaasar, 41, who was unable to find her four-day-old nephew, said: “We pay the hospital employees thousands of Iraqi dinars to allow us in to get our loved ones basic food and milk, which they cannot provide. It’s a corrupt government that doesn’t care about its citizens and lets this happen.”

Iraq’s health ministry said the fire began late on Tuesday, and initial investigations pointed to an electric fault being the cause of the blaze, which resulted in 12 deaths and the transfer of 29 women and seven children to nearby hospitals.

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