In a shocking incident, nine newborn babies died at the state-run VSS Medical College and Hospital in Burla in Odisha's Sambalpur district in the past 24 hours, reports said on Sunday.
The incident has prompted the Odisha government to order an investigation.
Denying negligence by the authorities, superintendent of the medical college Laxmikant Dash said the babies were premature and seriously ill.
They were admitted to the special newborn care unit at the hospital as they were either underweight or were suffering brain haemorrhage, Dash said.
He said the babies were also suffering from chest congestion when they were admitted to the medical college.
"However, the matter is being looked into and I have asked the head of the pediatrics department to submit a report immediately," Dash was quoted as saying.
State Health Minister Damodar Rout reportedly said he has asked the director of Medical Education and Training; and Sishu Bhawan director to inquire into the matter.