Ten newborn babies killed after fire tears through hospital

The Associated Press
·1-min read

Ten newborn infants have died in a fire at a state-run hospital in western India.

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, around 1000km south of New Delhi.

Seven died due to smoke inhalation, and three from burn injuries, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope told reporters.

This frame grab from video provided by KK Productions shows women grieving at District General Hospital where a fire broke out in Bhandara, about 70 kilometres from Nagpur, India, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. A fire broke out in the intensive care unit of a government-run hospital in western India early Saturday, killing 10 infants, police and news reports said.
Women grieving at District General Hospital where a fire broke out in the intensive care unit of a government-run hospital in western India, killing 10 infants. Source: AP

Seven babies were rescued by nurses and ward staff.

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.

Police officers investigate hospital fire that killed 10 infants
Police officers investigate the scene after a fire broke out at District General Hospital in Bhandara, about 70 kilometres from Nagpur, India. Source: AP

Initial reports indicated that the fire may have been caused by a short circuit in one of the incubators, Tope said, adding "the staff said the ward quickly filled with lots of black smoke".

Legal requirements for a post-mortem had been waived and the bodies of the children handed to their families, who would be given compensation of 500,000 rupees ($A8,774) each, Tope said.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.