Miracle child: Newborn found in plane trash

As trash was carried from a plane that had just landed at Manila`s airport, a security officer on the tarmac spied something moving in one of the bags.

Manila: As trash was carried from a plane
that had just landed at Manila`s airport, a security officer
on the tarmac spied something moving in one of the bags. He
opened it, sifted through the rubbish and found a newborn baby
wrapped with tissue paper and covered in blood.

"The baby was left for dead. It was already bluish in
colour," airport press officer Connie Bungag said. "He could
have died in a matter of minutes if he was not found."

The story evoked pity and outrage around the world as
Philippine authorities worked today to identify a mother who
apparently gave birth on a commercial flight and abandoned the
child in a trash bin on the plane.

The three kilogram boy was among refuse unloaded by
cleaners of a Gulf Air plane after its arrival yesterday from
Bahrain, airport officials said.

The infant -- still attached to the placenta -- was taken
to an airport clinic, where doctors and nurses cleaned him,
gave him a checkup, wrapped him in cloth and mittens and
warmed him under a light bulb, airport doctor Maria Teresa
Agores said.

"He was healthy, his vital signs were OK," nurse Kate
Calvo said.

Airport officials collected money to buy the baby clothes
and milk, and as he fed from a bottle, the baby cried softly,
Calvo said.

Airport workers also gave him another basic need -- a
name. They called him George Francis after Gulf Air`s code
name GF.

The mystery baby was later turned over to social welfare
officers assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Airport police said they were trying to locate one female
passenger whose seat near the plane`s toilet was stained with
blood. Officials got her name from the plane`s manifest and it
appeared to be Filipino.

In Dubai, Gulf Air said it had launched an internal
inquiry into the incident. The airline provides service
throughout the Middle East.

"Our main priority is the welfare of the mother and
baby," the airline said in an e-mailed response to questions.
"We are currently working with the local authorities in the
Philippines to help them locate his mother as soon as
possible."

PTI

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