A newborn boy was rescued from a narrow sewage pipe in China over the weekend. Video of doctors and firefighters carefully taking the pipe apart is shown above. (Warning: It may be disturbing to watch.)
The section of pipe -- reportedly about 3 inches in diameter -- was sawed away and carried to a nearby hospital. Firefighters and hospital personnel used pliers and saws to free the baby. In footage, you can hear the snap of the pipe, and a section of it is pulled away to reveal the baby’s face. He opens his mouth to cry.
The baby weighed a little more than 6 pounds, according to the Associated Press, and at the time he was rescued still had placenta attached to his body. The AP, citing local media, said the infant had grazes on his head and limbs and a low heart rate but was otherwise unhurt.
Agence France-Presse reported that according to an official news outlet, the baby was in the sewage pipe for at least two hours. A police officer said that “fortunately the baby survived,” AFP reported, but the person who abandoned him was “suspected of attempted murder.”
Police authorities in eastern China later blogged that the infant’s mother had been located and that an investigation was ongoing, according to AP.
Reports of abandoned babies are common in China. The twist here is that it was a baby boy. Girls tend to be unwanted because of the traditional preference for male heirs. The imbalance between the sexes in China, the Economist reported in 2010, was 124 to 100 in the early 2000s.
Many blame baby abandonment in China on the nation’s strict one-child policy, which imposes hefty fines on parents who violate the rules.