A baby boy in China has been safely rescued from a sewage pipe after the abandoned newborn had become lodged in an apartment building's public toilet system. A resident heard the infant's cries, and firefighters cut out a portion of pipe containing the boy. That section was then rushed to the hospital, where the baby was carefully removed.
Authorities are treating the disturbing incident as an attempted homicide and were still looking for the baby's parents. As for his medical condition, the boy is reportedly stable, but with severe bruising and some cuts.
Weighing 2.3-kilograms (5.07 pounds), the infant was two days old when he was trapped in the pipe, reports China Daily. The newspaper says the boy was trapped in a 10 cm (3.9 inch) pipe on the fourth floor, requiring firefighters to go down to the third floor to cut the pipe.
Citing official media, Agence France-Presse reports that the boy spent at least two hours in the pipe. Removing him from the metal cylinder was an arduous and delicate process.
"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 AFP says, citing the official report.
The story of the baby's plight was met with anger and offers of help in China.
"This incident has sparked outrage among netizens who were extremely disgusted by this story," reports the Shanghaiist website, which also has a video of the rescue that some of our readers may find upsetting. It adds that people also expressed their gratitude that the boy is safe.
"The child — named Baby No. 59 from the number of his hospital incubator — was reported safe in a nearby hospital," The Associated Press reports, "and news of the rescue prompted an outpouring from strangers who came to the hospital with diapers, baby clothes, powdered milk and offers to adopt the child."