Three children admitted in government-run Kamla Nehru Children’s Hospital here died in a fire that broke out on Monday night, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.

The blaze started in a ward on the third-floor of the hospital, which houses the ICU, an official said.

“We are unable to save three children who were already seriously ill in the fire incident, which is very painful. The rescue operation was swift and the blaze is under control now but unfortunately the lives of three children could not be saved,” Chouhan tweeted.

“A high-level probe into the incident is ordered. The probe will be conducted by additional chief secretary (ACS) health and medical education, Mohammad Suleiman,” he aded.

The fire broke out at the hospital on Monday night.

People were seen running outside the hospital in search of their children.

The fire broke out around 9 pm and eight to 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames, said Fatehgarh Fire Station in-charge Juber Khan.

Smoke filled a room of the children’s hospital, he said.

Khan said a short-circuit may have caused the blaze.

After receiving information, Minister for Medical Education Vishwas Sarang also rushed to the spot. He was still inside the hospital.

Amid the chaos, angry family members of the children alleged that instead of saving the children, the staffers fled from the spot.

A parent said that he was yet to locate his child. Some parents were seen rushing out with their children, eyewitnesses said.

A woman, who was also inside the hospital earlier, said that there was a lot of smoke inside the room.

Kamla Nehru Children’s Hospital is part of Hamidia Hospital, one of the biggest government medical facilities in the State.

Terming the incident as “very painful”, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition Kamal Nath demanded a high-level probe into the incident and stern action against those responsible for it.

State BJP president Vishnu Dutt Sharma also expressed grief over the incident. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.