Iraq's Baghdad airport hit by fire

Blaze breaks out inside departures hall

Civil defence forces fought to extinguish a blaze at Baghdad International Airport on Tuesday. Reuters
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People were evacuated from Baghdad International Airport after a fire broke out on Tuesday evening.

The blaze started in a cafe in the departures hall, according to the Iraqi Civil Defence. Three airport employees were being treated for smoke inhalation, it added.

It said the fire was extinguished and no one was injured.

Outgoing flights were not affected and an investigative committee has been formed to determine the cause of the fire, Iraq's civil aviation authority said.

Footage published on social media showed a large crowd struggling to put out the blaze, while others ran across the departures hall with fire extinguishers.

It comes only days after more than 30 people were injured as a building collapsed in the capital, after a fire broke out in a multi-storey commercial site.

The blaze raged for hours, fuelled by oil-based perfumes stored in the building, which was being used as a warehouse.

Devastating fires have claimed the lives of hundreds of people in recent years in Iraq, where safety standards are poor and rarely enforced by authorities.

Widespread corruption and weak government monitoring are blamed for the lack of proper safety standards in many of the capital's neighbourhoods.

Ninety-two people were killed in a blaze at a Nasiriyah coronavirus hospital in July 2021, prompting anger at government ministers, whom grieving relatives accused of negligence.

It was the second deadly hospital fire in the space of three months.

Both blazes were blamed on faulty electrical wiring and poor storage of highly flammable gases.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 3:56 PM
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