The fall of a newborn baby into a toilet pipe in China was accidental and his mother will not be prosecuted, local officials said Wednesday, adding the boy is healthy.
The mother, 22 and unmarried, had kept her pregnancy secret and gave birth unexpectedly when she went to the
lavatory on Saturday. The newborn fell into the squat toilet and became stuck in the tube, police in Jinhua in the eastern province of Zhejiang said earlier. Firefighters and doctors spent nearly an hour taking a section of the 10- centimetre (four-inch) diameter pipe
apart piece by piece with pliers and saws before they could recover the boy, whose placenta was still attached, said previous media reports.
“Our investigations showed it was an accident,” a local police officer who declined to be named told AFP, and
confirmed the mother will not be prosecuted. She refused to give further details.
The incident triggered hundreds of thousands of comments on China’s hugely popular weibos, services similar to Twitter, with users astonished by the circumstances and expressing good wishes for the baby. From the time he was found until when he was taken out, the 2.3-kilogram
(five-pound) baby was stuck in the tube for two to three hours, authorities and media reports said previously.
He suffered some cuts to his face and limbs and was put in an incubator at the Pujiang People’s Hospital, they said, where nurses dubbed him “Baby No 59″ after the machine’s number.
The head of the hospital, Wu Xinhong, said the infant was healthy and ready to be released. “His condition is good but his relatives have not come to pick him up yet,” he
told AFP. Police have said the mother was in serious condition due to complications from the delivery, while authorities were still looking for the baby’s father.
Mother Of Baby Was Present During Rescue
The mother of the Chinese newborn trapped in a sewer pipe in a stunning ordeal caught on video had raised the
initial alarm and was present for the entire two-hour rescue but did not admit giving birth until confronted by
police, reports said Wednesday. The state-run, Hangzhou-based 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 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 of the trapped baby after she could not pull
the child out, the state-run, Jinhua- based Zhezhong News said.
Video of the rescue of Baby No. 59 – so named because of his incubator number in the hospital – was shown on Chinese news programs and websites starting
late Monday and picked up worldwide, prompting both horror and an outpouring of charity on behalf of the
newborn. The mother’s reported confession raises questions about whether she intended to abandon the
baby, while suggesting that she was desperate and did not know what to do. 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 that apparently was just below the restroom
and then, at the hospital, using pliers and saws to gently pull apart the pipe, which was about 10 centimeters (about
3 inches) in diameter. The baby, who weighed 2.8 kilograms (6 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. The placenta
was still attached.