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China toilet fall baby leaves hospital: official

BEIJING -- A newborn boy who was rescued from a toilet pipe in China has been released from hospital, the director of the facility said Thursday, five days after an ordeal that captured worldwide interest.

The child, from Jinhua in the eastern province of Zhejiang, and dubbed “Baby No. 59” by nurses after the number of his incubator, become lodged in the pipe after his mother gave birth.

The boy “was picked up yesterday,” Wu Xinhong, chief of Pujiang People's Hospital, where he was treated, told AFP. He did not specify who collected him, but said they were accompanied by police.

The boy will be cared for by his mother, grandparents and the man believed to be his father, China's state news agency Xinhua cited local officials as saying, adding that the man plans to contest his paternity.

Details of the case were not entirely clear, with the Jinhua Daily, a local newspaper, saying on Thursday that police were still looking for the father.

The mother will not face prosecution as she did not drop the boy on purpose, police previously told AFP.

Users of China's hugely popular Sina Weibo, a social networking service similar to Twitter, condemned the parents while expressing good wishes for the boy.

“The poor baby, hope the child can grow up healthy,” one user wrote.

The mother, 22 and unmarried, had kept her pregnancy secret and gave birth unexpectedly when she went to the toilet on Saturday, police and state-run media said.

She “tried to grab the newborn before it fell into the toilet, but its body was too slippery,” Xinhua reported, citing police records.

The boy fell into the squat toilet and became stuck in a 10-centimeter (4-inch) tube, which firefighters and doctors spent nearly an hour taking apart before they could rescue him.

The 2.3-kilogram (5-pound) baby was trapped for at least two to three hours, authorities and media reports said previously, and suffered some cuts to his face and limbs.

The mother was hospitalized due to complications from the delivery and was not staying with the baby, the Jinhua Daily said.

Chinese babies born out of wedlock are sometimes abandoned because of social and financial pressures. The country's one-child policy can also mean heavy fines for couples who have more than one baby.

One Sina Weibo user acknowledged public speculation that the incident may not have been accidental, but urged others to drop their suspicions.

“The child is innocent with an already unhappy family so let's don't make his life worse,” the user wrote. adding: “For his sake, let's just buy the story.”

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