Staff evacuate 23 babies from Darwin ICU

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An electrical fault has forced the evacuation of more than 20 babies from the neonatal intensive care unit at Royal Darwin Hospital.

Hospital staff have been praised for their quick-thinking action after noticing smoke and an acrid smell in the area about 6.25am on Saturday

"The NT Fire and Rescue Service was immediately called and all 23 babies were evacuated by staff and relocated to another nursery in the building," the Territory's Department of Health said in a statement.

Emergency services declared the area safe at 7.10am and the babies were returned following medical checks.

"All parents of the babies were notified of the incident at the time. All of the babies have been clinically assessed and found to be well. There were also no staff injuries," the department said.

The incident has been blamed on an equipment electrical fault and hospital engineering staff have reviewed the unit's electrical equipment and deemed it to be safe.