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Baby in China saved from sewer pipe

Public outrage over case of newborn boy who was apparently dumped down toilet and had to be cut free by doctors

Firefighters in eastern China have rescued an abandoned newborn baby boy lodged in a sewer pipe directly beneath a toilet, state television has reported. The case sparked anger on social media sites.

There are frequent reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth, a problem attributed variously to young mothers unaware they were pregnant, the birth of an unwanted girl in a society that puts greater value on boys, or to China's strict family planning rules.

In the latest case the infant was found in the pipe in a residential building in Jinhua in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang on Saturday afternoon after residents reported the sound of a baby crying, state television said late on Monday.

Firefighters had to remove the pipe and take it to a nearby hospital, where doctors carefully cut around it to rescue the baby boy inside, the report said.

The child was in a stable condition and the police are looking for his parents, state television said.

The case has been widely discussed on the Sina Weibo microblog due to the graphic nature of the footage, with calls for the parents to be severely punished. "The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe," wrote one user.

The Associated Press said the child had been named Baby No 59 from the number of his incubator. Police were treating the case as an attempted homicide, and looking for the mother and anyone else involved.

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