Nearly a dozen newborn babies died in a fire at a hospital in Senegal, the country’s president said Wednesday.
Senegal President Macky Sall announced that 11 newborns perished in a blaze that engulfed the neonatal section of a regional hospital in the town of Tivaouane.
The mayor of Tivaouane, a town about 75 miles east of Senegal’s capital Dakar, said three babies were saved from the flames, according to France24.
The hospital fire is the second in less than two months to claim the lives of babies in the country.
In late April, a fire broke out at a hospital in Linguere, a town in northern Senegal, and killed four newborn babies. The town’s mayor said it was triggered by an electrical malfunction in an AC in the maternity ward, France24 reported.
“I have just learned with pain and consternation the death of 11 newborn babies in the fire that occurred in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane,” Sall said in a statement on Twitter.
The president, who is on a state visit to Angola, offered his condolences to the heartbroken parents of the new babies.
“To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy,” he said.
Investigators believe the fire was ignited by a short circuit, according to Senegal’s health minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.
Sarr is currently in Geneva for the World Health Assembly and said he would cut the trip short and return to Senegal immediately.