Lifestyle & Belief

Infant rescued from sewer pipe in China, provoking worldwide outrage and sympathy (VIDEO)

Graphic footage has circulated worldwide of rescuers cutting a newborn baby free from a sewer pipe in China.

It's believed the baby boy was just two days old when rescued and had a low heart rate and labored breathing, as well as numerous bruises to his head, arms and legs, NBC reported.

He was discovered by residents of an apartment in Jinhua, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, who heard cries coming out of a fourth floor squat toilet, ABC News reported.

Incredible footage has been circulated of his rescue, showing firefighters cutting away an L-shaped section of the pipe — with a diameter of just 4 inches — with pliers and saws under the guidance of medics from Pujiang People's hospital.

Reuters ran this video on its website.

The painstaking process took almost an hour, the Guardian reported.

Chinese have reacted with mass sympathy and anger to the report, despite the high rate of abandonment in China owing largely to the one-child policy, with huge fines imposed on parents who break the rules.

Unusually, this baby was a boy.

State media wrote that strangers had inundated the hospital with gifts of diapers, baby clothes and milk powder, as well as offers to adopt the little boy, who weighed 6 pounds, 2.8 ounces and was in a stable condition.

However, a doctor at the hospital said the infant — dubbed Baby No. 59 — would likely be handed to social services.

Jinhua police had identified the mother, with CNN citing reporting her as saying she "deeply regrets what she did."

The CNN report cited a posting on the social media website Weibo.

A local police officer said the unnamed mother rushed to the toilet after feeling stomach pains and subsequently gave birth to the baby.

He said in a video interview:

"She tried to grab something to help herself because there is too much blood. She couldn't hold the baby anymore, and he slides into the sewage through the hole of the toilet."

Being unable to retrieve the baby with a stick, she decided to flush it and clear away the blood, the officer said.

However, the Associated Press reported that she was a single woman who told police she could not afford an abortion and secretly delivered the child.

The landlord of the building said she was not aware of any recent pregnancies among her tenants and had seen no signs of a birth.