Sunday 20 October 2019

Mother of baby 'present for rescue'

The rescued newborn is known as Baby No 59, after his incubator number in hospital (AP)
The rescued newborn is known as Baby No 59, after his incubator number in hospital (AP)
Baby No 59 was found trapped in a sewer pipe and rescued by Chinese emergency services

The mother of the Chinese newborn trapped in a sewer pipe had raised the initial alarm and was present for the entire two-hour rescue but did not admit giving birth until she was confronted by police, reports claim.

The state-run newspaper Dushikuaibao said police became suspicious when they found baby toys and blood-stained toilet paper in the 22-year-old woman's rented room, in the building where Saturday's rescue occurred in eastern China.

The woman, whose name was not revealed in state media reports, confessed to police when they asked her to undergo a medical checkup.

The woman told police she could not afford an abortion and secretly delivered the child on Saturday afternoon in the toilet. She said she tried to catch the baby but he slipped into the sewer line and that she alerted her landlord after she could not pull the child out, the state-run Zhezhong News said.

Video of the rescue of Baby No 59 - named after his incubator number in hospital - was shown on Chinese news programmes and websites before being picked up worldwide, prompting both horror and an outpouring of charity on behalf of the newborn.

Zhezhong News said the woman is a high school graduate who works at a restaurant in the Zhejiang province city of Jinhua. She said she became pregnant after a one-night stand with a man who later denied any responsibility. The woman did not reveal the pregnancy to her parents.

She also said she wanted to raise the child but had no idea how to do it, according to local reports.

Firefighters were called to the residential building in the Pujiang area of Jinhua to rescue the baby, which was trapped in the L-joint of a sewage pipe just below a squat toilet in one of the building's public restrooms.

In the video, officials were shown removing the pipe from a ceiling and then, at the hospital, using pliers and saws to gently pull apart the pipe. The baby, who weighed six pounds, 2.8 ounces, had a low heart rate and some minor abrasions on his head and limbs, but was mostly unhurt, according to local reports.

Police initially said they were treating the case of as possible attempted homicide, but it was not immediately clear whether the mother would face criminal charges.

PA Media

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