Firefighters in China have rescued a newborn baby boy who was lodged inside a sewage pipe after being flushed down a toilet, sparking outrage online.

Residents of an apartment building in Jinhua city in the eastern province of Zhejiang called firefighters after they heard the infant’s cries, state media said.

Attempts to pull the two-day-old baby out failed, prompting rescuers to take the 4-inch diameter pipe piece by piece with pliers and saw. They took the portion of the pipe with the baby inside to the hospital, where it was carefully pulled apart to release the infant.

The 2.3-kilogram (5-pound) baby, still attached to his mother’s placenta, fortunately survived and is now in stable condition after being put in an incubator, a police officer said. The baby suffered some cuts to his face and limbs.

The baby was stuck in the tube for at least two hours between the time he was found and when he was taken out, reports AFP.

The mother of the baby was unmarried and had hidden her pregnancy, a police officer in Jinhua told AFP. The baby reportedly fell into the toilet after she unexpectedly gave birth.

Police were still investigating whether the mother “had any malicious intentions” and she could face attempted murder.

The news triggered condemnation online, particularly on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. “Can these people be called human beings? The animal to human ratio among the grown-ups is rising inexorably”.