Murshidabad (West Bengal): A newborn on Wednesday died in a sub-divisional hospital in this West Bengal district after the mother was allegedly cleaned with an acidic solution instead of a disinfectant. Officials denied the allegation but ordered a probe into the matter.

A formal verbal accusation has been made that Sikha Devi was subjected to pre-delivery cleaning by the Lalbagh sub-divisional Hospital staff with an acidic solution which caused the death of her baby.

A medical board under the hospital superintendent has been set up to probe the matter, said Lalbagh Sub-Divisional Officer Charanjit Ghosh.

The verbal complaint was made by Sikha Devi's family members.

Ghosh, however, claimed no acidic solution was used and the baby probably died as it was underweight and premature.

'As per initial reports, no acidic solution was used. The baby was born premature and also under weight. We are looking into the matter,' he said.

The incident comes in wake of a series of crib deaths in West Bengal recently. Between Oct 25 and 28, the BC Roy Children's Hospital - the only children's referral hospital in Kolkata - witnessed 16 deaths. The Burdwan Medical College and Hospital had 12 infant deaths Oct 27-28.

Earlier, on June 18 babies had died at the BC Roy Children's Hospital.

Following the deaths, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee - who also holds the health portfolio - had ordered probe and on both occasions, the hospital authorities were absolved of any wrong doing.

(Agencies)