4 newborns die in Senegal hospital blaze

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A fire in a neonatal ward in the northern Senegalese town of Linguere has killed four babies
A fire in a neonatal ward in the northern Senegalese town of Linguere has killed four babies

A fire in a neonatal ward in the northern Senegalese town of Linguere killed four babies on Saturday, according to local and government officials in the West African state.

The origins of the blaze remain unclear, although Linguere mayor, Aly Ngouille Ndiaye, said that it was likely sparked by an electrical fault in an air-conditioning unit inside the ward.

Six newborns were in the neonatal ward of Magatte Lo hospital in Linguere when the fire broke out on Saturday morning, according to Ndiaye.

The small town lies in a semi-arid region about 300 kilometres northeast of the poor nation's capital Dakar.

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Four babies died in the blaze, Ndiaye said, and the two survivors are in intensive care.

"The fire did not spread," he added.

Health ministry spokeswoman Ngone Ngom confirmed the death toll to AFP, adding that the government had launched an investigation.

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