Firefighters in eastern China have rescued an abandoned newborn baby boy lodged in a sewage pipe.

The infant was stuck in a pipe directly beneath a toilet commode, state television reported, in a case which has sparked anger on social media sites.

There are frequent reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth.

Scroll down for video. Warning graphic content

 
Harrowing: Firefighters work to free the unwanted baby from the pipe in Pujiang, Zhejiang Province, China

Harrowing: Firefighters work to free the unwanted baby from the pipe in Pujiang, Zhejiang Province, China

 
 
The newborn baby was rescued by firefighters after being flushed down a toilet

Fight for survival: The newborn baby was rescued by firefighters after being flushed down a toilet

 

 
 
At a public toilet on the fourth floor firefighters were able to hear faint cries and, exploring further, spotted a baby's foot deep inside the pipe

At a public toilet on the fourth floor firefighters were able to hear faint cries and, exploring further, spotted a baby’s foot deep inside the pipe

Unbelievably, the baby survived the ordeal, which saw him having to be cut out of a pipe

Unbelievably, the baby survived the ordeal, which saw him having to be cut out of a pipe

 
Firefighters received a call from a landlady of a block of flats saying that she thought a baby was trapped in a toilet pipe in the building as she had heard it crying

Firefighters received a call from a landlady of a block of flats saying that she thought a baby was trapped in a toilet pipe in the building as she had heard it crying

The problem is attributed variously to young mothers unaware they were pregnant, the birth of an unwanted girl in a society which puts greater value on boys or China’s strict family planning rules.

 

 

 

In the latest case the infant was found in the sewage pipe in a residential building in Jinhua in the wealthy coastal province of Zhejiang on Saturday afternoon.

The harrowing discovery came after residents reported the sound of a baby crying, state television said late on Monday.

 
The firefighters worked quickly to dismantle the pipe and rescue the trapped youngster, who was heard wailing

The firefighters worked quickly to dismantle the pipe and rescue the trapped youngster, who was heard wailing

 

 
Firefighters gently carried away the section of pipe that contained the terrified baby

Firefighters gently carried away the section of pipe that contained the terrified baby

 

 
There are many reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth, making this incident distressing but a common occurence

There are many reports in Chinese media of babies being abandoned, often shortly after birth, making this incident a distressing but common occurrence

 

 
Doctors carefully cut around the sewage pipe to rescue the baby boy inside

Doctors carefully cut around the sewage pipe to rescue the baby boy inside

Firefighters had to remove the pipe and take it to a nearby hospital, where doctors carefully cut around it to rescue the baby boy inside, the report said.

The child is in a stable condition and the police are looking for his parents, state television added.

The Associated Press said the child had been named Baby No 59 from the number of his incubator, the Guardian reported.

The case has been widely discussed on China’s Twitter-like service Sina Weibo due to the graphic nature of the footage, with calls for the parents to be severely punished.

‘The parents who did this have hearts even filthier than that sewage pipe,’ wrote one user.

Firefighters and doctors rescue an abandoned newborn baby boy by cutting away a sewage pipe piece by piece, in this still image taken from video, in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province May 25, 2013

Firefighters and doctors rescue an abandoned newborn baby boy by cutting away a sewage pipe piece by piece, in this still image taken from video, in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province May 25, 2013

 
People have angrily reacted to the news, demanding the parents be punished and denouncing their cruel act

People have angrily reacted to the news, demanding the parents be punished and denouncing their cruel act

 

 
The abandoned child has been named Baby No 59 from the number of his incubator, according to reports

The abandoned child has been named Baby No 59 from the number of his incubator, according to reports

 

 
Nurses treat the baby, who was believed to be only a few days old when he was flushed away

Nurses treat the baby, who was believed to be only a few days old when he was flushed away

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