China rescuers save baby lodged in sewage pipe

Martin Patience reports from Beijing on the rescue. This video contains disturbing images

Firefighters in China have rescued a newborn baby boy lodged inside a sewage pipe leading off a toilet.

Residents of an apartment building in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province, called rescuers on Saturday after they heard the infant's cries.

Rescuers tried to pull the baby out of the pipe but failed and ended up sawing through a section of the pipe instead.

They took the pipe to hospital, where it was carefully pulled apart to release the infant.

The baby, thought to be just a few days old, was found inside a pipe 10cm (4 in) in diameter, the China Daily newspaper said.

Footage from state television showed firefighters and doctors working together using pliers to cut the pipe apart to get to the baby.

The baby is now in stable condition, reports say.

Residents called rescuers after they heard the infant's cries. Residents called rescuers after they heard the infant's cries. (WARNING: This gallery contains images some may find disturbing)
A rescue worker reaching into a pipe Rescuers tried to pull the baby out of the pipe at the scene, but failed.
Hospital staff cut into pipe They took the pipe to hospital, where it was pulled apart to release the infant.
Baby in the pipe The police are said to be treating the case as attempted murder and are searching for the parents.

The infant was named Baby No 59 - after the number of his hospital incubator, the Associated Press news agency reported.

A number of visitors had arrived at the hospital with contributions of nappies, baby clothes and powdered milk, it added.

Weibo reaction

Meanwhile, a police officer in Jinhua told Agence France-Presse that the baby's unmarried mother had hidden her pregnancy.

The baby fell into the toilet after she unexpectedly gave birth, the officer said.

"The woman was on the scene during the entire rescue process... and admitted [she was the mother] when we asked her," he told AFP.

He said police were still investigating whether "she had any malicious intentions" before deciding if charges should be filed. There was still no information on the baby's father, he said.

The case generated condemnation on weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe," one user was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"Can these people be called human beings?" another user quoted by AFP said.

China has strict family planning rules, with the one-child policy in place for more than three decades. Although there are a number of exceptions, couples can face fines if they violate the policy.

There have also been cases of babies born outside marriage being abandoned, or female newborns abandoned because of a traditional preference for sons.

More on This Story

More China stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.