Newborn baby found alive at bottom of sealed drain
A 20-year-old woman whose newborn baby was found abandoned in a drain near a Sydney motorway is being questioned by Australian police.
The baby, who is only a few days old, is in a serious but stable condition in Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital.
A group of cyclists were riding along a bicycle lane beside the M7 Motorway in the Sydney suburb of Quakers Hill when they heard a baby's cry coming from the drain, police said.
They managed to lift the heavy concrete lid off the drain, which is 8ft deep, and saw the baby wrapped in a hospital blanket at the bottom.
Police reached the scene shortly afterwards and rescued the child.
"It was disturbing how the child was placed in the drain," said Quakers Hill Police Inspector David Lagats, who estimated the baby was two or three days old.
"We all thought the worst, but the baby was still alive," he added.
The boy had no signs of physical injury, but was malnourished, Inspector Lagats said.
Officers found the mother on Sunday afternoon by checking hospital records and knocking on the doors of homes in the area. They did not release the mother's name, but said she was from Quakers Hill. She was taken for questioning.
Police suspect the baby was squeezed through the drain's narrow opening and dropped to the bottom.
They did not say how long the child had likely been left there. There has been no rain in Sydney for several days, so the drains are dry, but rain was forecast for Sunday night.