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Pope praying as another hospital fire in Iraq kills COVID patients

Pope Francis prayer

© Catholic Press Photo / Ciric

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 07/13/21

Pope Francis offers prayers for the dead and those who mourn them.

Pope Francis expressed his sadness over the fire at a Covid isolation ward at the Iraqi Al-Hussein hospital in Nasiriyah and offered prayers for the victims and their families and friends mourning their loss.

In a telegram sent by the Pope’s secretary of state to Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, Francis “sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all affected by the tragic fire at the Covid isolation ward of the al-Hussein hospital in Nasiriyah. Deeply saddened, he prays especially for those who have died and for the comfort of their families and friends who mourn their loss.”

The text concludes, “Upon the patients, staff and caregivers he invokes God’s blessings of consolation, strength and peace.”

Initial reports indicate that at least 64 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the blaze which broke out at the Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital late on Monday. The facility had just opened three months ago. 

At the end of April, at least 82 people were killed in a Baghdad hospital also treating Covid patients, when it seems an oxygen tank exploded and ignited the building. More than 100 others were injured in the blaze, though as many as 200 patients were able to be rescued.

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