“On this painful occasion, I express my sincerest condolences with the dear nation of Iraq, and especially to the families of the victims, and I ask God to bestow patience and countless [heavenly] rewards upon the relatives of the victims,” Seyyed Mojtaba Hosseini said in a message on Tuesday.
Hosseini wished for the quick recovery of those who sustained injuries during the incident.
He also hailed the people of Nasiriya for their “heroic stances” in ridding Iraq of Daesh terrorists and their “rich record” of fighting former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime.
Late on Monday night, a fast-spreading blaze tore through the new isolation ward at the Imam Hussein Teaching Hospital in the Iraqi city of Nasiriya. The fire continued until early Tuesday, marking the second such tragedy in the Arab country in less than three months.
So far, 124 people have been confirmed dead, according to the Iraqi Civil Defense Center. Iraqi officials also said that more than 100 people were injured in the blaze.
Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf also expressed his condolences to his Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed al-Halbousi, over the incident.
“On this occasion, I offer my condolences to your Excellency, the esteemed members of parliament, the government and people of the friendly and brotherly country of the Republic of Iraq, and especially to the bereaved families,” Qalibaf said in a Tuesday message.
Meanwhile, the head of Iraq’s Human Rights Commission said the incident demonstrated how ineffective the country’s safety and contingency plans still were in a health system afflicted by war and sanctions.
“To have such a tragic incident repeated a few months later means that still no contingency plans have been put in place to prevent them,” Ali Bayati said.
Iraq’s President Barham Salih said via Twitter that the latest fire incidents were “the result of endemic corruption and mismanagement that disregards the lives of Iraqis.”