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Health-care worker arrested for allegedly murdering 8 babies in neonatal care

U.K. police have arrested a health-care worker suspected of killing eight babies and attempting to murder six others.

About a year ago, detectives began looking into a hospital in Northern England that had an unnaturally high number of infant deaths. On Tuesday, they arrested a woman in connection with the investigation, The Guardian reports. The unexplained deaths of 15 babies at the Countess of Chester hospital between June 2015 and June 2016 sparked the investigation, per a police statement. It has since expanded to include 17 infant deaths and 15 "non-fatal collapses."

A May 2017 review identified insufficient staffing in the hospital's neonatal unit, and a government study showed the infant death rate at the hospital was 10 percent higher than those of similarly sized units, per The Guardian. But neither could explain the deaths, prompting the investigation.

The health-care worker's arrest isn't the end of this sensitive operation, the lead investigator said in a statement, adding that "parents of all the babies are continuing to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers."