“When we heard about it, we called the department to find out what happened. We were told there was a short circuit in the department, and the nurses there intervened,” Saar guests told local radio station RFM.
He walked in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Health Assembly conference. The ministry said he had cut short his trip and would return to Senegal immediately.
The country’s president, Macky Sall, said the fire took place at the Mamie Abdelaziz Si Dabakh Hospital in the western Senegalese city of Tifuan.
CNN has contacted the hospital, but has yet to hear back.
Sall, in a statement issued by the presidency, declared three days of national mourning starting Thursday, and flags will be raised at half-mast during this period.
Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdallah Dieum told reporters during a visit to the hospital on Wednesday night that the president had also launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.
“Furthermore, he (Sal) requested that we review all equipment and infrastructure for newborns who need assistance with machines to take care of them,” said Doumi.
“We will do it here in Tifuan and in all the hospitals in Senegal where there is a service for newborns,” he added.
Senegal’s Minister of Regional Planning and Local Government, Cheikh Bamba Diaye, called the fatal incident “horrific and unacceptable” while urging an investigation into the country’s health systems.