BEIJING -- A Beijing policeman rescued a newborn baby who was stuck face-down in a public toilet, reaching his arm down into the pipe to gently pull out the infant, police and reports said Tuesday.
The baby girl was in stable condition at a hospital in the Chinese capital, and authorities were trying to identify her parents and find out how she ended up in the toilet, police and Beijing Television said.
The local broadcaster aired a video taken by police of the rescue Sunday by officer Qian Feng following reports of cries in a public restroom in a Beijing alley.
"I am probably the first one to hold this child," Qian told the TV station in a later interview.}
Unmarried mothers in China sometimes abandon newborns because of social stigma associated with out-of-wedlock births. Sometimes parents also discard children born with defects.
In 2013, rescuers in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang gingerly cut open a sewer pipe to save a baby boy, who his mother said accidentally slipped into the toilet where she delivered the child. Local media reports said the woman became pregnant after a one-night stand but hid the pregnancy from her parents. She later admitted to police she was the mother.
On Sunday, police spotted the child's feet in the toilet pipe and called for help from firefighters, but before they could arrive, Qian got down on the ground to pull the baby out, the TV station reported.
Quoting neighbors, police and medical staff, the TV report said a woman may have given birth to the 2-kilogram (4.4-pound) baby directly into the toilet and left without the child, whose umbilical cord was pulled off, instead of cut off.
Beijing police confirmed the report but gave few details on their official microblog. They said the infant did not appear to have any physical defects.
Medical staff told the television station that the baby had infections but otherwise was doing fine.