On May 29, 2013, the Chinese press reported the rescue of a 6-pound, 2.8-ounce newborn boy with placenta still attached that had become stuck in the sewer pipe under a squat toilet. Apart from having a low heart rate and some minor abrasions, the boy, now named Baby No. 59 for the incubator that houses him, is doing well. The case is being investigated as a possible attempted homicide.
Bloody toilet paper in one of the building’s rental apartments implicated the mother, 22, who had actually alerted the landlord and stood by watching the entire rescue operation. When confronted she confessed to having given birth to the baby, saying that since she could not afford a child she had hidden the preganancy and ensuing birth, but that she had not intended to flush it. She reportedly said that when she gave birth to the child over the toilet, he slipped into the sewer line. When she could not retrieve the baby, she called the landlord.
Horrified by the story, many Chinese arrived at the hospital with charitable offerings of diapers, baby clothes, powdered milk and requests to adopt the child. It is not known if the mother will be facing any charges.
The video shows the very large toilet, removal of the pipe from a ceiling in the apartment building, and the careful removal of the pipe from around the child at the hospital.