herald

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Miracle of baby found dumped in airplane bin

An airport security officer found a newborn baby in a rubbish bag apparently unloaded from a plane that landed in the Philippines from the Middle East.

The boy, who was covered in blood and wrapped in tissue paper, was taken to an airport clinic, where doctors examined him and cleaned him and gave him a bottle of milk.

"After he was cleaned, he let off a soft cry," airport nurse Kate Calvo said. "He was healthy, and his vital signs were okay according to our doctors."

Outraged

A security officer noticed something moving in a rubbish bag that was reportedly unloaded from a Gulf Air plane that arrived from Bahrain and found the baby inside.

The baby was later turned over to social workers posted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Gulf Air officials were not immediately available for comment.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said she was angered by what happened.

"I was simply outraged. No infant should be treated that way," Ms Soliman said.

She said the baby would be turned over to the mother's relatives or put up for adoption.

Many Filipinos are forced to work as maids and labourers abroad, including the Middle East, to escape crushing poverty and unemployment at home.

Officials were searching for the newborn's mother.

Celia Yangco, an official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development said. "We'll look for his mother. We're giving his mother a chance to come forward."

Octavio Lina, assistant general manager of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said authorities have started looking at Gulf Air's passenger list to help identify the boy's mother.

Radio stations in Manila were swamped with offers to adopt the boy, who officials have called George Francis, using the initials of Gulf's airline code.

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