An investigation is under way after eleven newborn babies died in a hospital fire in the city of Tivaouane in Senegal in west Africa.

Senegal's President Macky Sall fired his health minister in the wake of the tragedy.

Mr Sall "named Doctor Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye as minister of health... to replace Abdoudaye Diouf Sarr", the presidency said in a statement.

The tragedy occurred at Mame Abdou Aziz Sy Dabakh Hospital in the transport hub of Tivaouane, and was caused by "a short circuit", according to Senegalese politician Diop Sy.

"The fire spread very quickly," he said.

The city's mayor Demba Diop reported that three babies were saved from the blaze.

The disaster comes after a similar incident occurred in the northern town of Linguere in late April, when a hospital fire broke out and four newborn babies were killed.

The mayor of that town cited an electrical malfunction in an air conditioning unit in the maternity ward at the time.

Amnesty International's Senegal director Seydi Gassama called for an inspection and upgrade for neonatology services in hospitals across Senegal after the Linguere case.

Mr Gassama urged the government to "set up an independent commission of inquiry to determine responsibility and punish the culprits, no matter the level they are at in the state apparatus".

Opposition lawmaker Mamadou Lamine Diallo also responded with outrage to the Tivaouane blaze.

"More babies burned in a public hospital... this is unacceptable @MackySall," he said on Twitter.

"We suffer with the families to whom we offer our condolences. Enough is enough."

Several other incidents have occurred this year at public health facilities in Senegal, where there is great disparity between urban and rural areas in healthcare services.

Criticism towards President Macky Sall has come following the fire

In early April, a pregnant woman waited in vain for a Caesarean section in a public hospital in the northwestern town of Louga, but died before she was able to get medical attention and her death caused a wave of outrage.

Earlier this month three midwives were sentence by the High Court of Louga to six months of suspended imprisonment for "failure to assist a person in danger" in connection to her case, while three other midwives were acquitted.