Ten newborn babies die in Indian hospital fire

The fire broke out in a local hospital’s Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) in Maharashtra’s Bhandara district, Doordarshan said in a tweet on its verified Twitter account. Firefighters rescued seven other babies from the unit.

The fire was caused by a short circuit in the SNCU, said CNN affiliate CNN-News18, citing Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope.

“The investigations are going on,” Tope said, adding that $6,813 (5 lakh Indian rupees) would be paid in compensation to each of the families affected. The state will also bear funeral and counseling costs.

“Whosoever is guilty in this will not be spared at all,” Tope said. “It should be ensured that such type of incidences do not occur henceforth.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the incident on Saturday morning. “Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where we have lost precious young lives. My thoughts are with all the bereaved families. I hope the injured recover as early as possible,” he wrote on Twitter

The office of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind also tweeted in Hindi, “I am deeply saddened by the untimely death of infants in a fire accident in Bhandara, Maharashtra. My heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their children in this heartbreaking event.”

Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that he was “pained beyond words” by the “irreparable loss.”

The country’s Health and Family Welfare Minister, Harsh Vardhan, said he was in touch with Tope about the incident.