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Mozambique blames 'human error' for 24 dumped babies

Mozambican authorities Sunday blamed human error after 24 still-born babies from a local hospital were dumped at a waste site, news agency AIM reported. The mayor of the city of Matola said the remains of babies born at Maputo Provincial Hospital were mistaken for refuse by an employee and transported to a dumping site outside the city.

The remains were due to be buried after they were not claimed by parents. "What happened (on Friday) was that a colleague put the bodies of the stillbirths in the vehicle carrying ordinary hospital waste," hospital morgue administrator Carolina Macuacua told AIM. The mayor of Matola apologised to the nation for the error, saying the four hospital staff involved in the mix-up would be held to account.

"We know this was a human error, and for that reason, we present our apology not only to the citizens of Matola, but also to the Mozambican society," mayor Calisto Cossa was quoted by AIM as saying.

UN children's agency Unicef lists Mozambique as among the sub-Saharan countries with a high stillbirth rate.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015