President: 11 babies killed in fire at Senegalese hospital

May 26, 2022, 7:55 PM | Updated: 8:05 pm
Relatives sit outside the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, Senegal, a town 90 kms ( 60 ...

Relatives sit outside the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, Senegal, a town 90 kms ( 60 miles) east of Dakar Thursday, May 26, 2022. Senegal's president says 11 newborns have died in a fire that broke out in the neonatal unit of a hospital. Authorities in the town of Tivaouane said only three babies could be saved after a short circuit caused the blaze. (AP Photo/Cheik Sy)

(AP Photo/Cheik Sy)

TIVAOUANE, Senegal (AP) — Police were on guard and nearby residents and parents stood mourning outside a hospital in Senegal where a fire in the neonatal unit killed 11 newborns. Only three infants could be saved, President Macky Sall said before calling on Thursday for three days of mourning for the young lives lost.

Mamadou Mbaye, who witnessed the fire Wednesday at the Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in Tivaouane, a town 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the capital, Dakar, told The Associated Press that conditions inside the hospital were “atrocious.”

“It was hot and smoky inside with a suffocating heat, and there was a power outage,” Mbaye said.

Grieving parents were still in shock.

“I baptized my child on Wednesday and he was baptized here in the hospital. To my great shock, I got a call to tell me that the neonatal section had been destroyed by a fire,” said Badara Faye, who lost his son.

Moustapha Cisse, who also lost a newborn, said they are still awaiting answers on how such a tragic fire could take the lives of their children.

The fire was blamed on an electrical short circuit, according to Mayor Demba Diop.

Interior Minister Antoine Diome announced that authorities would be opening an investigation into the condition of the hospital’s facilities as well as other health care centers, Senegalese media reported.

President Sall called for three days of mourning.

“To their mothers and families, I express my deepest sympathy,” Sall had tweeted upon hearing the news of the fire.

His chief of staff, minister Augustin Tine, visited the remains of the hospital Thursday.

“We have come to be close to the people, in particular the parents,” he said. We have come to share the suffering, he added, “to share our condolences and to say again it is a misfortune that has hit our country, but we keep our faith.”

The deadly fire comes a year after four other newborns died in a hospital fire in Linguere in northern Senegal.

A series of other deaths also have raised concerns about maternal and infant health in the West African nation known for having some of the best hospitals in the region.

Earlier this month, authorities discovered a baby that had been declared dead by a nurse’s aide was still alive in a morgue. The infant later died.

Last year a pregnant woman died in Louga, in the north of the country, after waiting in vain for a cesarean section. Three midwives were given six-month suspended sentences for not giving help to a person in danger.

Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, who was attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, cut short his trip to return to Senegal.

___

This story has been corrected to show the correct spelling of the hospital is Abdoul Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital.

___

Dione contributed from Dakar, Senegal.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Germany considers aid for struggling energy firms

BERLIN (AP) — The German government has drawn up a plan that would allow it to aid struggling energy companies more easily — a move that comes amid efforts to shore up Uniper, Germany’s biggest importer of Russian gas. The plan, approved Tuesday by the Cabinet but still requiring parliamentary approval, aims to give the […]
6 hours ago
FILE - Medical director of Doctor on Demand Dr. Vibin Roy speaks to a patient during an online prim...
Associated Press

Many won’t rely on virtual options after COVID: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans don’t expect to rely on the digital services that became commonplace during the pandemic after COVID-19 subsides, according to a new poll, even as many think it’s a good thing if those options remain available in the future. Close to half or more of U.S. adults say they are not […]
6 hours ago
A police car patrols the street as residents gather nearby, Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Shanghai. Hac...
Associated Press

Alleged Chinese police database hack leaks data of 1 billion

HONG KONG (AP) — Hackers claim to have obtained a trove of data on 1 billion Chinese from a Shanghai police database in a leak that, if confirmed, could be one of the largest data breaches in history. In a post on the online hacking forum Breach Forums last week, someone using the handle “ChinaDan” […]
6 hours ago
CORRECTS TO A LAKE FOREST POLICE OFFICER, INSTEAD OF LAKE COUNTY A Lake Forest, Ill., police office...
Associated Press

July 4 parade shooting leaves 6 dead, 30 hurt; man detained

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A shooter fired on an Independence Day parade from a rooftop in suburban Chicago, spraying the crowd with gunshots initially mistaken for fireworks before hundreds of panicked revelers of all ages fled in terror. At least six people were killed and at least 30 wounded. An hourslong manhunt during which […]
6 hours ago
Exterior of the Packard Plant on Detroit's east side, Thursday, June 30, 2022. The factory built in...
Associated Press

Detroit targets old industry sites to improve neighborhoods

DETROIT (AP) — One of the first things 84-year-old Mahalie Wilson sees when she steps out of her home on Detroit’s east side is the brick, steel and concrete skeleton of the long-vacant Packard plant that looms over the neighborhood. Built in the early 1900s and still churning out high-end cars into the 1950s, the […]
6 hours ago
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, cente left, leaves the national and in...
Associated Press

Ukraine town warned to evacuate ahead of Russian assault

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, the mayor of a city in the path of Moscow’s offensive warned residents Tuesday to evacuate ahead of an expected assault. The warning from the mayor of Sloviansk underscored fears that […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
President: 11 babies killed in fire at Senegalese hospital