Wed, May 29, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Chinese newborn rescued from building toilet pipe

AFP, BEIJING

A still image from a video shows firefighters and doctors rescuing an abandoned newborn boy on Saturday last week by cutting away a sewage pipe in an apartment building in Jinhua, China.

Photo: Reuters / China Central Television

A newborn boy was rescued from a sewage pipe in a apartment building after being flushed down a toilet, state media said, provoking online outrage yesterday.

“Fortunately, the baby survived, but the person [who abandoned him] is still suspected of attempted murder,” an unidentified police officer said, according to the official news portal hangzhou.com.cn.

Residents in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, called firefighters on Saturday after hearing the two-day-old baby crying in the fourth-floor squat lavatory, the report on Monday said. Attempts to pull him out failed, so rescuers sawed away a section of the 10cm diameter pipe with the baby inside and took him to a local hospital.

Firefighters and doctors spent nearly an hour taking the tube apart piece by piece with pliers and saws and finally recovered the newborn, whose placenta was still attached, the report said. From the time he was found till when he was taken out, the baby was stuck in the tube for at least two hours, it added.

The 2.3kg boy suffered some cuts to his face and limbs and his heart rate was low at one point.

He was in stable condition, the report said, adding that police were still looking for his parents.

The news triggered hundreds of thousands of comments on microblogging services, with users expressing good wishes for the baby and fury at those who presumably abandoned him.

“I can never accept or forgive the behavior of dumping the baby with his placenta and umbilical cord attached into the toilet pipe,” a user with the online handle Jiding Jiajia wrote. “Can these people be called human beings? The animal to human ratio among the grown-ups is rising inexorably.”

Another user, If-Free, said watching the rescue left her distraught.

“Seeing the little one wriggling and groaning as the pipe was torn apart bit by bit wrings my heart ... You’ve lived through the hardest moment in your life and your future will definitely be smooth,” she said.

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