Saturday 19 October 2019

Baby 59 ‘returned to his mother’

James Legge

The newborn baby who was rescued from a sewage pipe in China is now re-united with his mother, who will face no charges after police decided the baby got there by accident.

The rescue, from the pipe of a squat toilet in Pujiang county in the eastern Zhejiang province, made global news after a video was broadcast and spread online.

The boy has been taken away from a hospital by his 22-year-old mother and a man believed to be the father.

Police concluded that the mother will face no charges, accepting that she only failed to come forward immediately because she was scared.

Pre-marital sex is now common in China, with unwanted pregnancies on the rise, but single mothers are often ostracised.

According to officials, the man has requested a paternity test and is ready to discuss supporting the child if he proves to be his son.

Click here to see more images of the rescue

The country's Zhezhong News reported that the mother told police she could not afford to have an abortion.

Firefighters were called to the residential building to rescue the baby, who was trapped in the L-joint of a sewage pipe in one of the building's public toilets.

In the video, officials were shown removing the pipe from a ceiling that apparently was just below the toilet and then, at the hospital, using pliers to gently pull apart the pipe, which was about 10 cm in diameter.

Baby 59 - as he is known, named after the number of his incubator - only suffered minor injuries.

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