The fire started in the sick neonatal care unit of a local hospital (SNCU) in Bhandara district, Maharashtra, Doordarshan said in a tweet on his verified Twitter account. Firefighters rescued seven other babies from the unit.
The fire was caused by a short circuit in the SNCU, CNN affiliate CNN-News18 said, citing Maharashtra Minister of Health Rajesh Tope.
“Investigations are ongoing,” Tope said, adding that $ 6,813 (5 lakh Indian rupees) would be paid as compensation to each of the affected families. The state will also bear the funeral and counseling costs.
“Anyone who is guilty of this will not be spared at all,” Tope said. “We must ensure that this type of incident does not happen again. “
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s office also tweeted in Hindi: “I am deeply saddened by the untimely deaths of children in a fire in Bhandara, Maharashtra. My deepest condolences to the families who lost their children in this heartbreaking event. ”
Home Secretary Amit Shah said in a tweet that he was “beyond words” at the “irreparable loss”.
The country’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan, said he was in contact with Tope about the incident.