58 Iraqis died of electrocution during heavy rains
The 58 “died of electric shocks,” spokesman Ahmed al-Ridaini told AFP.
The sewer system was overwhelmed by several days of downpour, leading to widespread flooding in Baghdad and other parts of the country, and with some areas still flooded days after the rain stopped.
The flooding combined with decrepit electricity infrastructure to pose deadly danger, and videos posted online showed the bodies of people purportedly electrocuted being fished out of flooded streets.
As more rain fell Thursday, the electricity ministry issued a warning for citizens to “be careful with the distribution networks that include wires, poles and transformers.”
Because government-provided power falls far short of demand, many streets in Iraq are crisscrossed by spider webs of dozens of haphazardly strung wires linking homes and shops to private generators.
Anger over poor services and rampant corruption sparked weeks of protests earlier in the year. Reforms have been announced, but little in the way of significant change has occurred so far.