Algeria says 8 newborns die in fire at maternity hospital

International

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Eight newborns were killed Tuesday in a fire in the maternity wing of an Algerian hospital near the border with Tunisia, authorities said.

The health minister said the blaze may have been caused by a defective anti-mosquito device.

The national emergency service said in a statement that the fire was under control but not yet extinguished. It said 11 newborns, 37 mothers and 28 employees were evacuated after the blaze broke out at 4 a.m. (0300 GMT) in the town of El Oued, 600 kilometers (360 miles) southeast of the capital, Algiers.

Three babies died of burns and five of asphyxiation, the emergency service said.

Health Minister Mohamed Miraoui said on Ennahar television that an investigation will determine whether the anti-mosquito device was responsible.

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