Eleven newborns died this Wednesday when a hospital in the Senegalese city of Tivaouane, in the west of the country, burned down, President Macky Sall reported this morning.

The fire broke out in the neonatology department of Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh hospital in Tivaouane.

“I have just learned with pain and dismay of the death of 11 newborns in the fire,” the Senegalese president wrote on his Twitter account, while expressing his sorrow to the mothers of the babies and their families.

The fire was caused by “a short circuit and the fire spread very quickly” through the service, said the city’s mayor, Demba Diop. “Three babies were saved,” he added.

According to the local press, the hospital was recently opened.

Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who was in Geneva attending a World Health Organization meeting, said he was returning to Senegal immediately.

“This situation is very unfortunate and extremely painful,” he said on the radio. “An investigation is underway to see what happened,” she added.

A similar incident occurred in the northern municipality of Linguere in late April, when a fire killed four babies in a hospital.

The mayor of that city said that the origin of the flames was an electrical problem in the air conditioning system of the maternity area, where there were six babies.

“More babies burned in a public hospital (…) This is unacceptable, Macky Sall,” opposition deputy Mamadou Lamine Diallo denounced on Twitter. “We suffer with the families to whom we offer our condolences. Enough is enough,” he said.

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