Emergency workers have rescued a newborn Chinese boy from a narrow sewer pipe beneath a public restroom in a residential building in eastern China.
It’s not clear how the baby originally became lodged in the pipe just beneath the building’s fourth-floor bathroom, but according to the state-run Zhejiang News, residents reported hearing a baby crying through the piping this weekend, summoning firefighters to the Jinhua-based apartment complex Saturday morning, where they worked for two hours to carefully disassemble the sewage system.
According to NBC News, emergency crews were able to see the baby’s head by peering down the toilet and into the 4-in.-diameter pipe, but couldn’t extract him. That prompted them to move down a floor and work from below. They eventually sawed out the section containing the pipe-entombed baby, then rushed it to a local hospital, where they carefully pried away tiny pieces of the pipe’s siding to unearth the crying child within.
The baby, now known as No. 59 after his hospital incubator designation, was reported in stable condition, though NBC (which spoke to doctors at the hospital) notes his heart rate was initially low and that he was considerably bruised. No one has yet come forward to claim the child, though the hospital has apparently received multiple offers to adopt him, as well as donations of baby-related items.
CNN reports that the local police tried to contact the baby’s parents through the Chinese microblogging site Weibo, writing, “Mom, come back! The baby is resilient and alive. Please show up, Mom. This is your own baby and he should return to your warm embrace soon.” But NBC says the police have indicated they may have found the baby’s parents, and that they’re approaching the investigation as an attempted murder.