Ten newborn babies die trapped inside hospital as fire breaks out in maternity unit

Only seven of 17 babies were saved from the maternity unit at the Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra, India (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

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Ten newborn babies have be en killed in a deadly fire at a hospital in India.

Only seven of the 17 babies in a maternity unit were rescued from the massive inferno at Bhandara District General Hospital in Maharashtra.

The blaze broke out at 2am on Saturday and all those who died were aged between a few days and three months old, according to reports.

The western state is India's richest, a doctor said.

Police personnel stand outside the maternity unit of district general hospital at Bhandara, India
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The fire tore through the Western India hospital killing ten newborn babies
(Image: TOI Pune @TOIPune)

Three to four babies died in the blaze, while the rest died from suffocation as oxygen supplies were cut, local media reports.

Staff rescued seven of the tiny tots from the Sick Newborn Care Unit but were beaten back before they could save the remaining ten.

Pramod Khandate, a civil surgeon at the hospital, said: "The fire broke out at 2am today."

Bhandara Collector Sandeep Kadam told of the moment the fire broke out in the out-born section of the hospital, speaking to The Indian Express.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakre ordered a probe into the incident
(Image: TOI Pune @TOIPune)

Staff tried to rescue the babies before fire crews arrived
(Image: TOI Pune @TOIPune)

He said: “At the time, there were two nurses and a helper in the children’s ward.They immediately raised an alarm.

"The fire brigade was called out but before it arrived, staffers tried to rescue the children and managed to save seven infants.”

Ongoing explosions within the ward affected rescue efforts and staff were unable to rescue all of the babies, he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thakre ordered a probe into the incident asleading politicians expressed their grief.

Only seven of 17 newborn babies were rescued from a maternity unit at the Bhandara District General Hospital in western India
(Image: TOI Pune @TOIPune)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter:"Heart-wrenching tragedy in Bhandara, Maharashtra, where wehave lost precious young lives.

"My thoughts are with all the bereavedfamilies. I hope the injured recover as early as possible."

A number of other politicians, including opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, also expressed their grief.

Maharashtra was said to be the richest state in India
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Twitter : " The fire accident in Bhandara district hospital, Maharashtra is very unfortunate.

"I am pained beyond words. My thoughts and condolences are with bereaved families.

"May God give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss."

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The seven rescued babies have been admitted to another ward, according to local reports.

The exact cause of death of the newborns will be confirmed following a postmortem.

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