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The 22-year-old mother of the Chinese baby rescued Saturday after being trapped in a sewage pipe told police the infant fell into the toilet accidentally.
Residents of an apartment building in Jinhua, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, reported hearing crying coming from a pipe on the fourth floor over the weekend. Rescuers had to cut away a whole section of the four-inch-wide pipe before doctors could extract the baby boy, who somehow miraculously survived
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The baby is in stable condition at a local hospital and has been dubbed Baby No. 59, after his incubator number in the hospital.
Now, the state-run, Hangzhou-based newspaper Dushikuaibao has reported that the mother of the baby was present for the entire rescue but only admitted the child was hers after police questioned her and asked her to undergo a medical checkup.
The unidentified woman reportedly said she could not afford an abortion and secretly gave birth to the baby in the toilet. She claims she tried to catch the boy but he slipped into the sewer line. The woman said she alerted her landlord who then called firefighters and police.
Police initially said they were treating the case of as possible attempted homicide, but it was not immediately clear whether the mother would face criminal charges.
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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.
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