As many as seven newborn babies died while 16 were injured when fire broke out in a public hospital’s nursery ward in Lahore, the provincial metropolis of Pakistan’s Punjab province, on Thursday afternoon.

According to details the fire broke out due to short circuit in an air-conditioner installed in the nursery ward of Services Hospital which immediately engulfed the oxygen panels placed below the air-conditioner.

A spokesperson of the Services Hospital Lahore (SHL) said, in a statement issued by Punjab government, 24 children suffering from various complications at the time of birth were kept in incubators in the nursery ward. The spokesman had confirmed that six children died due to smoke and fire. However in late night development media reports claimed that death toll had reached seven.

The Express Tribune newspaper while quoting a spokesperson of the hospital reported that “while fire extinguishers were present in the hospital, the people were not able to use them.”

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistani news channels highlighted this particular aspect in detail and it was observed that the loss could have been avoided or at least minimized in the unfortunate incident provided the staff present on the occasion was well trained in meeting any emergency situation and had perfection in using fire extinguishers.

After the incident Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif visited the nursery ward at the hospital. He constituted an inquiry committee headed by Chairman Chief Minister’s Inspection Team for ascertaining the causes of fire saying the committee would submit its report within 24 hours and responsibility would be fixed in the light of this report.