Bodies of 21 babies recovered from Chinese river


Beijing: Workers recovered the bodies of 21 babies, some with hospital identification tags attached, from a river in eastern China’s Shandong province, state media said on Tuesday.

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The workers found the babies dumped inside plastic bags, at least one of which was marked “hospital waste”, in a suburb of Jining city, Shandong province, the Beijing News and other media reported.

The city health bureau confirmed that the bodies of 21 infants and foetuses were retrieved from the Guangfu river after local residents saw them under a bridge, China Radio International reported on itswebsite.

The report said health authorities identified three of the bodies as babies that were “seriously ill and died after treatment failed” at a hospital affiliated with Jining Medical University, where several staff were suspended from work after the find.

Information on the tags of five more babies linked them to the same hospital, while the other 13 had no tags and had not been identified, the broadcaster said.

Some of the bodies, which had started decomposing, “still had tags on their legs with names, height and weight information but no hospital name,” the official China Daily said.

Local health officials suspected the bodies, which were found on Sunday, were probably “dumped by hospitals as medical waste after dying from diseases or abortion,” the newspaper said.

The Beijing News quoted sources as saying a private operator may have dumped the waste into the river after a local hospital contracted out its medical waste disposal.

Police and health officials were investigating the dumping of the bodies, the largest of which was 60 cm long, the reports said.