Chinese officials rescued a newborn baby from a four-inch wide drainpipe after apparently being flushed down the toilet. The incident, which occurred Saturday in China's Zhejiang province on Saturday, had firefighters on the scene after residents complained of the baby's cries from the plumbing system of the apartment complex in which the baby was found.
Though the pipe was just around 10cm in diameter, rescuers were unable to remove the child at the scene, and thus, ended up seeing through the sewage system to remove a section and take it to the hospital. The boy, who health officials believe to be just a few days old, is now in safe and stable conditions. He has been named Baby No 59 after the number of hospital incubator he is recovering in. Footage shown on Chinese state television captured the dramatic rescue, leading to a number of guests visiting the hospital to bring food, nappies and clothing for the seemingly abandoned child.
The incident drew condemnation across, with one quoted as saying "The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe", while another said: "Can these people be called human beings?" China has strict rules on family planning, with a one-child policy in place since 1982 in an effort to combat the country's skyrocketing population. Although there are a number of exceptions in place, many families face large fines for breaking the family-planning rules. This has led to a huge number of babies being abandoned every year, with girls by far the majority of the victims, leading to numerous deaths.