BEIJING Firefighters in eastern China have rescued an abandoned newborn baby boy lodged in a sewage pipe directly beneath a toilet commode, state television reported, in a case which has 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 which puts greater value on boys or China's strict family planning rules.
In the latest case the infant was found in the sewage 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 is in a stable condition and the police are looking for his parents, state television added.
The case has been widely discussed on China's Twitter-like service Sina Weibo 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.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Sally Huang; Editing by Michael Perry)