British police on Tuesday arrested a female healthcare worker suspected of murdering eight babies and attempting to murder six more after an investigation into deaths at a neo-natal hospital unit.
The investigation into The Countess of Chester Hospital in the northwestern English city of Chester began last year and is focusing on the deaths of 17 babies between March 2015 and July 2016.
Police are also probing 15 non-fatal collapses of babies at the unit over the same period.
"As a result of our ongoing enquiries we have today arrested a healthcare professional in connection with the investigation," Cheshire police said in a statement, calling the arrest "a significant step forward in our enquiries".
"She was arrested earlier this morning on suspicion of murder in relation to eight of the babies and attempted murder in relation to six of the babies and is currently in custody," it said.
Police said the investigation, dubbed "Operation Hummingbird", was still "very much active and ongoing at this stage".
"Parents of all the babies are continuing to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers," the statement said.