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3 sentenced to jail in Algeria over newborns' deaths

Tuesday November 19 2019

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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 

AFP
By AFP
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Algiers,

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).

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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.