Parents of newborns who died in a hospital fire in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have spoken of their loss, with one saying she couldn’t even tell that the remains given to her were ever even her baby.
“I found my baby burned to charcoal,” she said.
Officials said at least 12 newborn babies died in a blaze that was probably caused by an electrical fault, and took three hours to put out. The incident took place in the maternity unit of the Yarmouk Hospital, west of the city.Electrical fires are common in Iraq because of poor wiring, and a lack of fire escapes which often adds to the danger.
“It’s a corrupt government that doesn’t care about its citizens and lets this happen.” says the Family of the victims.
Eshrak Ahmed Jaasar, 41, who was unable to find her four-day-old nephew, blamed the government for the tragedy. “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,” she said. It’s a corrupt government that doesn’t care about its citizens and lets this happen.”
Shaima Hussein, 36, and her husband were inside the hospital looking forward to see their two-day-old son when the fire broke out.Although their path was blocked by a wall of thick smoke.”I looked at the victims, I saw them burned, “It was a horrible scene.It was very difficult for me to give birth to a child. I have had medical treatment to have a baby.After all these efforts I received a charred body.”
Umm Ahmed, another griever, was looking for a family member’s baby she said, “They told me ‘go find him in the fridge’.I found him in a small cardboard box but I’m not even sure if it’s our child or a piece of sponge. It looks like charcoal.”
Hussein Omar, 30, grieving father of two said, “I couldn’t tell their mother who is still recovering from the Caesarean,” said Mr Omar.”I want my baby boy and girl back. The government must give them back to me.”