Fire at newborn care unit in India kills 10 infants

10 infants were killed in a fire at a hospital in India’s western state of Maharashtra.

The staff managed to rescue seven infants from the blaze before firefighters arrived at the Bhandara District Hospital in the western state of Maharashtra.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation is under way.

State health minister Rajesh Tope said initial evidence suggested it might have been caused by a short circuit.

The fire started at about 2:00am, according to hospital officials.

Rescue efforts were hampered by continuous blasts inside the ward, local media report. One nurse on duty said she alerted the authorities after seeing smoke streaming out of the hospital’s Newborn Care Unit.

“Hospital authorities have rescued seven babies but 10 have died in an unfortunate incident,” district civil surgeon Pramod Khandate told reporters.

Some of the babies were only a few days old, and the oldest three months.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the incident as a “heart-wrenching tragedy”.