Eight babies are killed in Algerian hospital fire
- Eight babies have died in a fire on a hospital maternity unit in Oued Souf, Algeria
- Captain Nassim Bernaoui said they died from ‘burns from smoke inhalation’
- Emergency services did manage to rescue 11 babies, 107 women and 28 staff
Eight babies have been killed in a hospital fire in Algeria, emergency services have said.
The blaze ripped through the maternity unit at a hospital in eastern Algeria before dawn today.
‘We managed to rescue 11 babies, 107 women and 28 staff after the 3:50am fire in the hospital in Oued Souf’, spokesoman Captain Nassim Bernaoui said.
He added: ‘Unfortunately we regret the deaths of eight babies, some from burns and others from smoke inhalation.’
Oued Souf is the capital of El Oued Province in Algeria and about 500 kilometres (300 miles) southeast of Algiers.
Dozens of fire engines were deployed to bring the blaze under control. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, Mr Bernaoui said.
Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui has ordered an inquiry and sent Health Minister Mohamed Miraoui to the scene of the fire.
More to follow…