10 newborn babies die in Indian hospital fire

At least ten newborn babies died on Saturday in a fire at a state-run hospital in western India, officials said.

Reports say there were 17 infants in the unit for sick newborn babies when the fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday at the Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra state.

Maharashtra health minister, Rajesh Tope told reporters that seven infants died due to smoke suffocation, and three from burn injuries.

All the infants were aged between a few days and three months, Bhandara district health official Prashant Uike said.

The government has ordered a probe into the incident and a safety audit of all neo-natal care units in the state.

Initial reports indicated that the fire may have been caused by a short circuit in one of the incubators, Tope said.

“The staff said the ward quickly filled with lots of black smoke,” the minister added.

 

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