A newborn baby was found after he survived being flushed down the toilet by his own mother shortly after she gave birth.
The tiny boy - nicknamed Xiaoxiao - was rescued after a passer-by heard his cries from a sewer and called emergency services.
Rescuers took off the cover of the sewer in Suide County in north-western China’s Shaanxi Province to reveal the newborn lying in a small pool of water on his back.
They then had to perform a delicate operation to lift the tot to safety.
Suide County fire department squad leader Li Zhi said: "It was really a race against time because somebody could have flushed something down the sewer again at any stage, or the baby might have turned over and ended up face first in the filthy water and drowned.
"But we didn't want to smash the pipe because we thought that might also hurt or even kill the baby. So we had to use a mixture of tools in order to ease him towards the opening and then pull him out."
"He still had the umbilical cord attached and it had obviously been clumsily cut."
Police said they had started a search for the mother of the child and added that it was not the first time that an unwanted child had been abandoned in such a way.
They have appealed for help in tracking down the mother, who may need medical help, but have also warned that she will face legal charges if she can be found.
The newborn baby boy meanwhile was taken to hospital, where he was cleaned and fed.
Staff say he's perfectly healthy and do not expect him to suffer any complications as a result of his introduction to life.
Attending physician Li Zhiping said: "The child survived the ordeal surprisingly unscathed. I can't think of any similar case where a child survived being effectively flushed down the toilet."
The child is being cared for by members of the fire department who have volunteered to be his temporary parents while an investigation continues to determine how Xiaoxiao ended up the sewer.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|