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11 newborns die in Senegalese hospital fire, says president

11 newborns die in Senegalese hospital fire, says president
A fire at the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane City resulted in the deaths of 11 newborn babies, the country's president said Thursday. Image Courtesy of Google Maps/Website

May 26 (UPI) -- Eleven newborn babies were killed in a fire that erupted at a western Senegalese hospital, the country's president, Macky Sall, said Thursday.

Sall tweeted the fire occurred in the neonatology department of the Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane City, located about 60 miles east of the capital Dakar.

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"To their mothers and their families, I express my deepest sympathy," he said.

Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, the nation's minister of health, said a delegation has been sent to the hospital and that he has cut his trip to Geneva, Switzerland, for the World Health Assembly short due to the fire.

Seydi Gassama, the director of Amnesty International Senegal, called on the Senegalese government to launch an independent commission to investigate the cause of the fire and to hold those responsible to account.

The deaths come after four babies were killed in a Linguere city hospital fire on April 25 of last year.

Gassama said that following that incident Amnesty had called on the government to open an investigation and upgrade neonatology service facilities at all hospitals nationwide.

Opposition lawmaker Mamadou Lamine Diallo also admonished the government over the hospital fire, stating it was "unacceptable."

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"We suffer with the families to whom we offer our condolences," he tweeted. "Enough is enough."

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