Newborn baby abandoned in 8ft drain next to Sydney motorway rescued by passing cyclists

Group heard baby boy’s cries and called police, who have tracked down the child’s mother

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The Independent Online

A newborn baby has been found abandoned in an 8ft-deep, concrete-sealed drain next to a motorway in Sydney after its cries were heard by passing cyclists.

Police believe the child, which was wrapped in a hospital blanket, was pushed through the drain’s narrow opening and dropped down to the bottom.

Officers said the incident was “disturbing” and that they were now questioning a 20-year-old mother who was tracked down on Sunday afternoon following a check of hospital records. They did not release her name.

It is not known how long the baby boy had been in the drain before he was found, though he is only two or three days old. Police said he was now in a stable condition in Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital.

With rain forecast for Sunday night, the baby’s life was likely saved by a group of cyclists travelling along the bicycle lane next to the M7 Motorway at around 7.30am on Sunday in the Quakers Hill suburb of Sydney.

They heard the child’s cries, stopped, and managed to lift off the heavy concrete lid of the drain. Seeing the baby wrapped in the blanket 8 feet (2.5 metres) down, they called the police.

Officers arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and rescued the boy.

“It was disturbing how the child was placed in the drain," said Quakers Hill Police Inspector David Lagats.

“We all thought the worst, but the baby was still alive,” he added.

The baby had no signs of physical injury, but was malnourished, Inspector Lagats said. His mother, from the Quakers Hill area, was tracked down and taken in for questioning, he said.