Eight Newborn Babies Killed in Algerian Hospital Fire

Eight newborn babies, including a  pair of twins, died Tuesday in a hospital fire in southeastern Algeria, according to local media.

The fire broke out in the maternity wing of the hospital in the town of El Oued Souf, 500 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers.

“Sources say that the newly-born babies were completely burnt and are difficult to identify,” the station reported.
According to the Civil Protection Directorate, the newborns died from burns and smoke inhalation.
It added that 11 babies, 37 women and 28 employees were rescued after the blaze broke out at 3:52 a.m., as “tens” of fire trucks and ambulances raced to the scene.
Nearly 140 people were saved from the fire by emergency services.

Health Minister Mohamed Miraoui said the blaze had been caused by a short circuit in a mosquitoes repellent device. The minister has also suspended a number of local health officials in the town following the fire.

The hospital suffered a fire last May, but despite extensive damage there were no casualties.


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