China's 'Baby No 59' released from hospital and reunited with mother after rescue from sewage pipe

22-year-old mother will not face charges

Beijing

The Chinese baby rescued from a sewage pipe this week has been returned to his mother’s family after police decided he had fallen down the toilet by accident.

The baby’s 22-year-old mother, who did not step forward initially because she was frightened, will not face criminal charges.

The case transfixed the world when images of the baby’s dramatic two-hour rescue from the outflow pipe of a squat toilet in Zhejiang province in eastern China were broadcast on the internet and on TV.

Rescuers were shown removing the pipe from a ceiling immediately below the toilet, then painstakingly using pliers at the local hospital to gently pull apart the pipe, which was just 10 centimetres in diameter.

The incident prompted a large outpouring of charitable donations and messages of support from the public. The little boy has been taken away from a hospital by the family of the unwed mother and a man believed to be the father, who is awaiting the outcome of a paternity test, local officials said. An official in Pujiang county said that if the man is the father, he is ready to discuss with the woman how to support the baby.

The case was originally seen as attempted murder, and police believed the woman had tried to flush the baby down the toilet. However, police were satisfied that the baby had accidentally slipped down the toilet pipe, as she claimed.

The mother later revealed she became pregnant after a brief sexual relationship with the father, and did not want to bring her family shame and loss of face. The ordeal suffered by the infant, named Baby 59 after the incubator in which he was placed, prompted a heated discussion online about the lack of useful sex education in China’s schools.

Unwanted pregnancies have been on the rise because of an increasingly lax attitude toward pre-marital sex in the country. The baby, who weighed 2.8kg, had a low heart rate and minor abrasions on his head and limbs, but was mostly unhurt.

The incident shocked China and led many to express their anger on social networking sites. “What a sin this is! What a poor newborn life! Don’t ever tell him he had such an experience,” wrote Xin de rui la on Sina Weibo. Lao cui wrote: “What the investigation shows is a young girl who got pregnant but who had no money for an abortion or even to go to the hospital. At such a beautiful age, she suffered this painful helpless experience. Whose fault is this? Is it really just a 22 year old girl’s fault?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'