Eight newborns died early this morning after a fire broke out in a government hospital in the southeast of Algeria.
Local television channels reported the news citing the Civil Protection Department which said a fire had broken out in the maternity and post-natal units of a government hospital in El Oued province, killing eight babies.
Prime Minister Noureddine Badawi ordered an investigation be opened immediately and for officials from the Minister of Health to visit the site.
The fire was extinguished at 4am local time (3:00 GMT), the Civil Protection Department said, adding that 37 women and 28 hospital staff were rescued. The bodies of three of the babies have been located however five remain missing.
Though there has been no official report on the cause of the fire, local media reported that it was due to an electrical malfunction.