Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the suspension of Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi and Baghdad Governor Mohammed al-Atta during an emergency session with his cabinet Sunday.
It added that a commission chaired by Interior Minister Othman Al-Ghanimi was set up to investigate the deadly fire at Ibn Al-Khatib hospital and hold those responsible accountable. The country's human rights commission said that 28 of the patients killed in the fire had been on life support when the smoke and flames reached their ward.
The fire, which according to several sources was caused by negligence, often linked to endemic corruption in Iraq, immediately sparked anger on social media in the country.
Firefighters rushed to battle the flames that raged across the second floor of the hospital.
Ambulances transported dozens of wounded, with the Health Ministry saying at least 200 people were rescued from the scene.
Doctors at the scene were frazzled by the chaos unfolding around them.
Local and hospital officials have already been suspended over the fire and are being questioned, but they are only scapegoats, angry social media users say.
As the scale of the destruction at the hospital became clear Sunday, foreign diplomats issued condolences to the families of the victims.
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An ecstatic Whitney Lewis leaned out a auto window waving a " Black Lives Matter " flag in a growing traffic jam of revelers. Others were not so confident the trial would result in a guilty verdict . "Today, we are able to breathe again", he said.
"Please, two of my relatives are missing".
Iraq's healthcare system, ruined by decades of sanctions, war and neglect, has been stretched during the coronavirus crisis.
There were at least 120 patients in the facility at the time of the fire, according to a doctor at the hospital.
"Showing pain and sympathy with our martyrs and injured sons is not enough without strenuous accountability for the negligent, and without conducting a comprehensive and serious review", he said.
"Negligence in such matters is not a mistake, but a crime for which all negligent parties must bear responsibility", he said.
The governor of Baghdad and another senior health ministry official were also suspended and referred to investigators. The prime minister also gave authorities 24 hours to give the results of their probe.
The UN top representative in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, expressed "shock" at the tragedy and called "for stronger protection measures to ensure that such a disaster can not reoccur".