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Covid hospital fire: 82 killed by exploding oxygen tank

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Covid hospital fire iraq

An Iraqi covid hospital fire has killed at least 82 people and left 110 injured.

The fire was caused by an exploding oxygen tank at Ibn Khatib hospital in Iraq’s capital city, Baghdad.

About “30 patients were in the intensive care unit”, which was reserved for the most severe cases of Covid, a hospital source told the AFP news agency.

Emergency service officials said many patients died when they were taken off oxygen machines to be evacuated, while others were suffocated by smoke.

The Iraqi Prime Minister suspended the health minister over the fire.

The Iraqi PM referred the health minister to authorities for investigation.

The head of Iraq’s Civil Defence, Gen Kadhim Bohan, said the fire had broken out in the hospital’s intensive-care unit.

In a statement, the government’s human rights commission said the incident was “a crime against patients exhausted by Covid-19”.

“Once the fire started somebody needed to put the auto central pipes off, which means basically cutting the oxygen from those who need it most,” Halla Sarraf, the director of Iraqi Health Access, a non-governmental organisation, told the BBC.

The fire adds strain as Iraq passes the one-million mark of Covid infections this week.

Iraq’s hospitals have been pushed to the limit during the coronavirus pandemic, adding to the strains wrought by years of war, neglect and corruption.

Covid infections have been rising steeply since February in Iraq, and the total passed the one-million mark this week.

The health ministry has recorded 1,025,288 cases and 15,217 deaths since the pandemic began.

The country launched its vaccination campaign last month, and has received nearly 650,000 doses, most of which have come from Covax, a global programme for sharing jabs.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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The world’s worst airlines revealed as budget carrier takes infamous title

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In a recent survey conducted by UK consumer advocate Which?, the world’s worst airlines have been exposed, with a budget airline clinching the dubious honour.

For the second consecutive year, a European carrier has earned the title of the worst airline globally, as voted by passengers. Wizz Air, a Hungarian-based budget airline, has garnered the unfortunate distinction, according to the survey encompassing feedback from over 10,000 flights predominantly used by British travelers.

British Airways, a prominent name in the aviation industry, surprisingly found itself among the ‘worst’ for both long and short-haul travel, securing the 14th and 15th positions, respectively, out of 17 carriers.

Customer service

The survey, which gauged travelers’ experiences over the past year, evaluated airlines based on criteria such as customer service, value for money, seat comfort, and food and drink quality.

Wizz Air faced severe criticism for its dismal performance in various aspects, including delays and subpar customer service.

One passenger lamented the airline’s communication difficulties when seeking assistance, dubbing it “impossible” to reach.


Scoring merely one out of five stars for customer service and no more than two stars in any other category, Wizz Air was denoted as the lowest-scoring airline.

The report highlighted dissatisfaction among customers, with 44% reporting encountering some form of problem during their Wizz Air flights.

Budget carrier

In stark contrast, Jet2.com, a UK budget carrier, claimed the top spot in the ‘best short-haul economy airlines’ category, followed closely by Icelandair, Norwegian, Turkish Airlines, and Longanair.

Surprisingly, Qantas was the sole Australian carrier to make it to the list, securing the fifth position in the ‘best long-haul economy airlines’ category.

Despite receiving commendable ratings in various categories such as customer service, seat comfort, and value for money, Qantas lagged in punctuality, with only 43% of its flights recorded as on time.

The best

Singapore Airlines emerged as the leader in the ‘best long-haul economy airlines’ category, closely trailed by Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and Qatar Airways.

Notably, Emirates garnered praise for its punctuality, with three-quarters of its flights arriving within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.

Meanwhile, British Airways faced criticism across the board, ranking low in each category.

Experts suggest that British Airways’ struggle to maintain standards while competing with low-cost carriers has led to a decline in customer satisfaction.

With these revelations, the aviation industry faces scrutiny over service quality, punctuality, and overall customer experience, underscoring the importance of continual improvement to meet travelers’ expectations.

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Police unravel timeline in alleged double murder case

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Police have reconstructed a detailed timeline surrounding the suspected double murder of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies, shedding light on the chilling events that unfolded last week.

Allegedly, a serving NSW Police officer procured an angle grinder and weights to aid in disposing of the bodies of Jesse Baird and Luke Davies.

Gunshots were reportedly heard in the vicinity of Mr. Baird’s Paddington residence around the time of the alleged murders last Monday, according to police sources.

Beau Lamarre-Condon, the accused, purportedly made “partial admissions” to a friend regarding his involvement in the shooting deaths, according to police statements.

Prior to becoming a police officer, Lamarre-Condon was a celebrity blogger

Yet to be found

Despite extensive efforts, the bodies of Mr. Baird, a former Channel 10 presenter, and his partner, Mr. Davies, a Qantas flight attendant, have yet to be located.

Police divers are currently combing a rural property with multiple dams in Bungonia, regional NSW, in search of evidence.

Since surrendering himself to authorities on Friday morning, Mr. Lamarre-Condon, 28, has not cooperated with investigators.

However, detectives plan to conduct further interviews with him today.

Moved the bodies

Police suspect that Mr. Lamarre-Condon may have relocated the bodies multiple times before turning himself in.

Assistant Commissioner David Hudson outlined the timeline pieced together by investigators.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots in Brown St, Paddington, at approximately 9:50 am on Monday, February 19, which had not been initially reported to the authorities.

According to police allegations, Mr. Lamarre-Condon signed out a service weapon from Miranda police station four days before the purported murders and returned it the following day.

A triple-0 call was purportedly made from Mr. Baird’s phone around 9:54 am on Monday, but the call abruptly ended without any communication.

Furthermore, text messages were sent from Mr. Baird’s phone to his housemates the next day, indicating that he was relocating to Perth.

However, police assert that these messages were actually sent by Mr. Lamarre-Condon, Mr. Baird’s former boyfriend.

Angle grinder

Mr. Lamarre-Condon allegedly purchased an angle grinder and padlock from a local hardware store before driving to a rural property, where he is suspected to have transported the victims’ bodies in a rented van.

Police believe Mr. Lamarre-Condon returned to the rural property alone to move the bodies after suspicions arose regarding his friend’s knowledge of the events.

Additional purchases, including weights from a department store, were allegedly made in the following days.

The accused reportedly remained in control of the van and visited various locations, including a friend’s premises in Newcastle, before eventually surrendering himself to authorities.

Friends ‘didn’t know’

Assistant Commissioner Hudson disclosed that Mr. Lamarre-Condon had not disclosed his employment as a police officer to his friends, and there were reports of him using a key to access Mr. Baird’s home in the past.

An investigation is underway to ascertain how Mr. Lamarre-Condon retained possession of his service weapon for several days.

Commissioner Karen Webb emphasized that if the allegations against Mr. Lamarre-Condon are proven true, it represents a significant failure on the part of law enforcement.

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What will the collaboration between ASEAN & China achieve?

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China have reached a mutual agreement to reduce barriers hindering the flow of services between the two parties.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia November 11, 2022.

Mutual agreement

The agreement, announced after a series of discussions, aims to boost trade relations and create a more conducive environment for the services sector.

The accord signifies a commitment to cutting red tape and regulatory obstacles that have historically impeded the growth of services trade between ASEAN member states and China.

Shared interests

The collaborative effort is expected to lead to increased market access and improved conditions for service providers, promoting healthy competition and innovation.

This move aligns with the broader regional trend of breaking down trade barriers and fostering stronger economic ties.

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