Five newborn babies were burnt alive and two others were seriously injuried on Saturday, when the incubators they were kept in caught fire at a private hospital in Patiala.
A total of 10 children, undergoing treatment for jaundice at Rajinder Hospital, were kept in phototherapy units. Reportedly, a short circuit in the wires of the machine resulted in the fire, charring five infants to death including three boys and two girls.
Two other children were seriously injured while three others were rescued. The infants were three to seven days old.
"The fire could have broken out due to a short circuit around 3:30 am", Gurmit Singh Chahuan, Superintendent of Police, said.
The seriously injured two children have been referred to PGI, Chandigarh.
"There was a short circuit in the tubes of the machines. The staff reacted immediately...but unfortunately five babies could not be saved," Surinder Singh, Superintendent of the Rajinder Hospital said.
However, some hospital sources have claimed that the machines were not well equipped.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has ordered a magisterial inquiry in the incident and announced a relief of one lakh rupees to the families of the children killed in the mishap.