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01 October 2023

Five newborns killed in Indian hospital fire

Five newborns, all less than a week old, have been killed and another was injured in northern India after a short circuit sparked a fire in the hospital maternity ward where they were being treated for jaundice.

Police officer Pritpal Singh said the blaze began before dawn on Saturday at the state-run Rajendra hospital in the city of Patiala, apparently after a machine that helps treat jaundiced babies by exposing them to a special light malfunctioned.

Five other newborns were rescued, including one that suffered burns. All the babies were under a week old and receiving treatment under the phototherapy machine.

Hospital superintendent Surinder Singh told a local television station, “There was a short circuit in the tubes of the machines.”