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Bodies of 2 infants found along river

By Li Qian   (Shanghai Daily)

08:31, April 26, 2013

POLICE are investigating reports that the corpses of several infants were found in the Xiangjiang River in Hengyang, Hunan Province, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported yesterday.

The bodies might be those of infants who died in premature birth or induced labor, or newborns who died of disease, said Liao Gaofeng, sector chief with the local health authority.

"Infant corpses are always seen in the river, at least four times a year," a local fisher surnamed Zhu said. He said he found a dead infant with placenta and umbilical cord attached on Sunday. Three boys found another and buried him in a muddy flat on Tuesday, Zhu said. No information was released on what Zhu did with the body he found.

A local police officer surnamed Kuang said it is not known whether the corpses were abandoned locally or came from upstream, the paper reported.

"It is such an inhuman act to leave dead infants in the wild, not only polluting the environment but also spreading diseases," Liao said. He said parents should send corpses to a funeral home for cremation.

The local health authority is assisting police in the investigation, the paper reported.

In March 2010, the corpses of 21 fetuses and infants were found under a bridge crossing the Guangfu River on the outskirts of Jining in Shandong Province. Eight of the 21 bodies had tabs with clinic code numbers on their feet. The tabs showed the bodies were from the Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Xinhua news agency reported. In some parts of China, especially in poor rural areas, parents are reluctant to take baby bodies home for a funeral. Instead, they sometimes dump the bodies at hospitals or pay someone to bury them, said Ma Guanghai, who is deputy dean at Shandong University's School of Philosophy and Social Development

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