3 sentenced to jail in Algeria over newborns' deaths

Tuesday November 19 2019

Three people in Algeria were on November 18, 2019 sentenced to jail for "negligence" after the death of eight newborns on September 24, 2019, in a fire at a maternity ward in Oued Souf. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP



Three people were sentenced to jail Monday for "negligence" in Algeria after the death of eight newborns two months ago in a fire at a maternity ward, official news agency APS reported.

Seven people were arrested at the end of September in connection to the deadly fire.

On September 24, a blaze ripped through a hospital in the eastern town of Oued Souf, killing eight babies, some from burns and others from smoke inhalation.

On Monday the hospital head and his deputy were sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of 100,000 dinars (Sh84,954)) for "negligence", APS said.

The maternity management coordinator, also charged with negligence, was given a six-month suspended sentence with a fine of 50,000 dinars (Sh42,492).


Charges of "involuntary homicide" and "misappropriation of public funds were dropped", the agency added.

The four others accused, including a Cuban nurse, were acquitted.

It was the second blaze to hit the maternity hospital in Oued Souf in 16 months. A fire in May last year caused significant damage but no casualties.