Each year, cases of baby abandonment happen around the world. In the most shocking case, a newborn baby girl was reportedly dumped in a concrete storm drain in Newlands East, outside Durban, South Africa. Luckily, the infant girl, trapped around 7 meters (approx. 22 feet) down the drain, was rescued by emergency workers.
The harrowing rescue operation that lasted for about three hours occurred a few months ago on Feb. 11, 2019. It unfolded when residents in Newlands East heard faint cries coming from deep within the storm drain around the corner of Herring Circle and Barracuda Rd.
Rescue Care Paramedics together with Metro Search and Rescue and the Ethekwini Fire Department are currently on scene on…
Initially, resident Iyron thought it was a “kitty cat.”
“I went and opened the drain and I went down and I looked. I thought no, it sounds like a kitty cat and I looked further down and saw it was a baby,” he told Herald Live.
Realizing a baby was stuck deep in the drain, the residents called the authorities for help.
A Little baby girl has been rescued from a Storm Water Drain in Newlands East on Monday morning just after 6am. Rescue…
First responders arrived just after 6 a.m., and immediately, they got down to work. “Durban fire department has been down the manhole and has visuals of the actual baby quite far down the pipe,” Rescue Care spokesman Garrith Jamieson said to IOL.
So to reach the baby, who was trapped way down the drain pipe, the rescuers dug a trench into the ground. According to witnesses on the scene, residents tore off the cabinets from their kitchen cupboards to stabilize the trench and prevent it from collapsing, Fox News reported.
“A 2m trench was excavated using an earth mover. Once the walls of the trench were shored, the pipe was broken open to remove the baby,” an emergency worker said.
Finally, after three hours, the crowd gathering around the scene cheered and applauded in relief when the baby with the placenta still attached was pulled out of the drain. Thankfully, the infant girl was still alive and kicking!
“I have a kid so I understand. I am just happy that the baby is alive,” said resident Lovedale.
This emotional moment was captured on film. The video was later uploaded to Twitter by local journalist Bernadette Wilks.
“The incredible moment a newborn baby girl is rescued from more than seven metres down a storm water pipe. The amazing men & women from Durban’s emergency services have been working for nearly three hours to save the infant,” Wilks wrote.
— KTLA 5 Morning News (@KTLAMorningNews) February 12, 2019
“It’s good news for the ending of this rescue today. We would like to congratulate the rescue personnel and paramedics who worked together to rescue this little girl today. The community was very helpful and supportive which we are also grateful for,” KZN EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said.
The baby, thought to be between one and three days old, was subsequently flown to Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a mild case of hypothermia. Aside from hypothermia, the baby was doing fine.
When Newlands East, Durban, resident Iyron Lovedale first heard the faint cries of a newborn baby girl trapped in a storm-water drain, he thought it was a "kitty cat".
“We did what is known as a babygram and found nothing broken and no serious injuries,” Dr. Timothy Hardcastle told journalists. “The main problem was that she was very cold. She came in at 35.5°. We warmed her up and washed [off] dust and cleaned her abrasions.”
Dr. Hardcastle said her survival was a miracle. “Any child that survives a certain amount of hours is a miracle. It seems like she was trapped for at least five hours in a stormwater pipe,” he remarked.
The baby, who was found with her umbilical cord intact, was believed to be between one and three days old.
It’s not known exactly why the infant got stuck in the drain. However, rescuers believe the girl was washed down the drain after being dumped, as per ABC. The police have classified the case as an attempted murder, according to Africa News.
This miracle infant girl, like other abandoned babies in South Africa, will most likely grow up in an orphanage. If not for the residents’ alertness, she would have likely ended up in a tragic consequence.
Watch the emotional moment:
The incredible moment a newborn baby girl is rescued from more than seven metres down a storm water pipe. The amazing men & women from Durban’s emergency services have been working for nearly three hours to save the infant. #NewlandsEastBabyRescue @ECR_Newswatch pic.twitter.com/iXPmeeTrlg
— Bernadette Wicks (Wolhuter) (@bern_wicks) February 11, 2019