At first, the passerby in Durban, South Africa, thought they could hear the sounds of a cat trapped in a drain. However, they soon realized it was the cries of a newborn baby.
After the discovery, shortly after 6 a.m. local time, a grueling four-hour mission was undertaken by emergency workers to rescue the baby who was trapped more than 20 feet down a storm drain, according to Fox News. The baby was finally rescued and locals have dubbed the baby girl Sibanisethu (Our Ray of Light). Although, a local resident, Barbara Cox, told the Overport Rising Sun that some locals had taken to calling the newborn Storm.
Local PR councilor, Shontel De Boer, also related details of how the baby was heard crying from inside the drain from as early as 1 a.m. However, some locals believed it was merely cats mating and initially ignored the cries.
Some residents have also reported that a taxi driver is said to have “spotted a young girl sitting on the drain with a pad during the early hours of the morning, prior to the baby being discovered.” As yet, these claims are unsubstantiated and police are still investigating. However, it is believed the baby was dumped. Although details of how, or why, the newborn wound up in the drain have not yet been established.
WATCH: Durban rescuers dig trench to save newborn stuck in a drain https://t.co/TYGpvGtoGT
— MSN South Africa (@MSNSouthAfrica) February 11, 2019
According to CNN, emergency workers had to use “a chisel and hammer to break into the drain” in order to rescue the infant. The baby was then taken to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital for urgent care. Trauma specialist, Dr. Timothy Hardcastle, has stated that the baby was suffering from hypothermia when admitted to the hospital and had to be warmed up. However, the prognosis is good and the baby now appears to be in relatively good health considering the ordeal it endured.
It is believed the infant is between 1- and 3-days-old and still had her umbilical cord attached.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 12, 2019
According to the local radio station, East Coast Radio, the baby was initially discovered by Iyron Lovedale, who was taking a walk along Baracuda Road. Initially, he believed he could hear a cat meowing. However, upon further investigation, it was discovered that a newborn was trapped down the stormwater drain and emergency services were contacted.
Lovedale, himself a father, remained by the drain during the entire rescue and was ecstatic over the outcome.
“I’m just happy, you can hear it from my voice, that the baby is out and has been rescued. Somebody who is looking for a child might take that baby.”
Associated Press released video footage of the rescue.