11 newborn babies die in hospital fire in Senegal

11 newborn babies died in a hospital fire in the western Senegalese city of Tivaouane.

In a tweet late Wednesday, Senegal President Macky Sall expressed his dismay over the incident.

“I have just learned with pain and dismay about the deaths of 11 newborn babies in the fire at the neonatal department of the public hospital,” he tweeted.

“To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy,” Sall added.

According to authorities, the fire was caused by a ‘short circuit’, however only three babies were saved.

Senegal’s health minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who is in Geneva for the World Health Assembly, said he would cut short the trip and return to Senegal immediately.

Demba Diop Sy, the mayor of Tivaouane, one of Senegal’s holy cities and a transport hub, said police and fire service were still at the hospital, but did not provide further details.

A similar incident occurred in the northern town of Linguere in late April, when a fire broke out at a hospital and four newborn babies were killed.