A Chinese woman was left horrified after she gave birth to her baby girl over a toilet which was then accidentally flushed away, prompting an emergency rescue by local firefighters.
Although doctors had initially described mother Cai Qulin's baby as being in critical condition after she was rescued from a waste system, she is now said to be in a stable condition and could be released from hospital within days, according to China Daily.
"My sister-in-law and niece are both OK now. As soon as doctor permits it, we'll bring the baby home," Qulin's sister in-law, Zhang Zhenghua, told China Daily.
Qulin, 36, went into labor on Saturday afternoon, nine days prior to her expected due date, and insisted on using a public restroom on her way to a local hospital.
The baby girl was born and fell into the toilet bowl before she was accidentally flushed into a drain, forcing Qulin into a frenzy.
Qulin's husband, Zhang Tao, immediately called called rescue workers, who scrambled to find the baby girl.
"The rescuers could see the baby and hear her crying sometimes in the pit. They broke the nearby pits by hand so they could reach the girl without endangering her," Chaoyang district fire brigade wrote in an email reply to China Daily.
The baby girl was eventually recovered after a heart wrenching 30 minutes when one rescuer, Li Gang, jumped into a pit and retrieved her.
"She seemed a little pale and stiff," Gang said when asked about the baby's appearance after she was rescued.
The baby girl was taken to First Hospital of Tsinghua University for observation and is expected to make a full recovery; Qulin is also said to be doing well.
"My niece is all right now, but she will stay in the hospital so they can make certain that she is healthy. My brother is taking care of the girl, and I'm taking care of the mother," Zhenghua said.