Senegal’s president calls for three days of mourning after 11 babies die in fire

Berlin, Germany - October 30: Macky Sall, President of Senegal, captured on October 30, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Inga Kjer/Photothek via Getty Images)

Senegal’s President Macky Sall called for three days of mourning after a fire engulfed the neo-natal unit of a hospital in Senegal, killing 11 newborn babies.

According to the president, only three infants could be saved.

“To their mothers and families, I express my deepest sympathy,” Sall had tweeted upon hearing the news of the fire.

Grieving parents, still visibly shocked stood outside the hospital mourning and were comforted by relatives.

Mamadou Mbaye, who witnessed the fire on Wednesday at the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, a town 75 miles north east of the capital, Dakar, told the Associated Press that conditions inside the hospital were “atrocious”.

“It was hot and smoky inside with a suffocating heat, and there was a power outage,” Mbaye said.

The fire was blamed on an electrical short circuit, according to mayor Demba Diop.

Interior Minister Antoine Diome announced that authorities would be opening an investigation into the condition of the hospital’s facilities as well as other health care centres, Senegalese media reported.