HAPPY END: Toilet Pipe Baby Goes Home With Grandparents

HAPPY END: Toilet Pipe Baby Goes Home With Grandparents

The Chinese baby boy rescued from a sewage pipe has been released from hospital to relatives, officials say.

HAPPY END: Toilet Pipe Baby Goes Home With Grandparents

The baby had been in hospital in Jinhua city, Zhejiang province, since being cut free from the pipe on Saturday.

His 22-year-old mother, who has not been named, said the baby slipped into the toilet and went down the pipe by accident as she gave birth.

The baby left with his mother's family, an official with the Pujiang propaganda department told the BBC.

The boy, who suffered minor injuries, but was said to be healthy, was discharged on Wednesday night.

Police initially treated the case as an attempted murder, believing the baby had been thrown down the toilet. But now police say the evidence shows this is not the case.

"This was an accident," an official from the Pujiang propaganda department told the BBC. "The baby was taken by his mother's family. His father's family went to the hospital too. He left in good heath condition."

Police said no criminal charges would be brought against the mother, who was under investigation for abandonment.

Local police told Reuters news agency on Thursday the baby's maternal grandparents took him to a rural location.

Earlier reports had said a man claiming to be the father of the baby had turned up at the hospital and had left with the child.

The dramatic birth and rescue of the baby made headlines around the world.

It has also triggered an online debate on China's twitter equivalent Weibo.com with more than 270,000 people commenting on the story.

Most have criticised the cruelty and irresponsibility of the mother, while a small number have been sympathetic to her situation.

One person wrote: "Thank God he lived! It's animal behaviour! He's your own son, how could you be so heartless?!"

Responding before news of the father's emergence, another said: "She's only 22 years old, she's young and inexperienced. Perhaps she has her own difficulties. Thankfully the baby is alive. Where's the father?"

Most of China's vast online users have expressed their support and good wishes for Baby 59.

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