UPDATES WITH DETAILS
By Hassan Jibril
ALGIERS (AA) – Eight newborn babies died Tuesday in a hospital fire in southeastern Algeria, according to local media.
The fire broke out in the maternity wing of the hospital in the town of El Oued Souf, 500 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers.
The Civil Defense Agency said three babies were burnt to death, while five others suffocated. It said 37 women and 28 hospital staffers were rescued.
Health Minister Mohamed Miraoui said the blaze had been caused by a short circuit in a mosquitoes repellent device.
The minister has also suspended a number of local health officials in the town following the fire.
Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui has ordered an investigation into the incident.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara