Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, expressed on behalf of the entire Chaldean Church, "profound sadness and pain" for the tragedy that occurred on Monday, July 12 at the Covid isolation ward of the "Imam al Hussein" Hospital in Nassiriya, where a fire caused the death of at least 92. In a short message, released by the official organs of the Patriarchate, condolences and solidarity are expressed to the families of the victims, entrusting the souls of the deceased in prayer to the infinite mercy of God.
The short text also expresses the hope that this umpteenth catastrophe that has occurred in the country will help "to awaken the conscience of Iraqi officials" and lead them to put aside their "incomprehensible conflicts" , to join forces and take on their responsibilities in this "difficult phase", to help the country to overcome emergencies and economic and social problems that torment the daily life of the population.
Even Pope Francis, on Tuesday, July 13, made it known that he was "deeply saddened" by the news of the tragedy in Nassiriya, which reached him while he was hospitalized at the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome for the after-effects of the surgery he underwent on Sunday, July 4. In a telegram sent on behalf of the Pontiff by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, Apostolic Nuncio in Iraq, the Pope expressed his "spiritual closeness to all affected by the tragic fire at the Covid isolation ward of the al-Hussein hospital in Nasiriyah". Pope Francis - we read in the telegram - "prays especially for those who have died and for the comfort of their families and friends who mourn their loss. Upon the patients, staff and caregivers he invokes God’s blessings of consolation, strength and peace".
Following the tragedy - local media reported - arrest warrants were issued against 13 people, including the provincial head of health, Saddam Sahib al-Tawil. (GV) (Agenzia Fide, 14/7/2021)