Stuck newborn baby: Residents rescue while police also claim rescue operation

Around 6 pm of Aug 18, the baby was successfully removed from the slit and taken to the town medical station.

Police in Hanoi said they had destroyed a wall to rescue an abandoned infant, but witnesses said that local residents had saved the baby before the police arrived to the scene.

Mr. Nguyen Duy Tuan, who lives in Trau Quy town, Gia Lam district, Hanoi, said that he was the local residents who took the wall drill to save the child on the evening of August 18 and that he did not care about the authorities said on the Internet

It is important to save the baby. I worked and God knew,” Tuan told BBC News Vietnamese morning Aug 20.

Witnesses denounce police’s claim involving in the rescue operation

The incident happened around 5pm on August 18 in Trau Quy town, Gia Lam district, Hanoi. At that time, people discovered a newborn stuck in the gap between the two houses.

The official Facebook page of the Hanoi City Police on the night of August 18 posted an article with pictures of the incident. Specifically, this page says that the Fire and Rescue Police Team of Gia Lam District Police and Trau Quy Town Police have destroyed the wall to successfully rescue the baby.

Official Facebook, Hanoi City Police, said Gia Lam district police successfully rescued the abandoned infant.

There is a point to note that in an article published at 9.36 pm of August 18 on the official Facebook page, Hanoi City Police wrote: “Due to the narrow wall slot, the functional forces had to chisel the wall to take the baby out in every effort to ensure safety for the child.” This sentence later, at 11.46 pm of the same day, was changed to “the functional force destroyed the wall together with local people.

After the police confirmed that they had saved the baby, immediately on social networks, information appeared to denounce the police trying to claim the rescue operation done by residents as their affair.

Accordingly, many witnesses said that the local youth used to rescue the baby by themselves before the police forces were present.

Sharing with BBC News Vietnamese on August 20, Mr. Pham Thanh Cong, who took part in the rescue of the baby, said: “After the wall is nearly finished, the functional forces came. Police with fire protection stand up to look while we were concentrating on cutting the wall at that time, we didn’t care about it because it was too late to wait for someone to come, I didn’t even know how the baby was alive and dead because it lay still, did not cry. I looked at the wall, I saw the child’s hand move, know it was alive.”

An absurd point in the police post on Facebook, that is the time “people discovered the abandoned baby” was 5.50 pm, and the time when the police “successfully rescued it was 6. pm. It only takes 10 minutes for the police to receive the information, go to the scene, chisel the wall, and save the baby, which is almost impossible.

What did the participant in saving the baby say?

Answering BBC News in Vietnamese on the morning of August 20, Mr. Nguyen Duy Tuan, who took the drill to save the child, said:

I just came home from work that day, around 5.45 pm when I met a student who told me to run over to help, a child was thrown downstairs but not dead yet. So I looked, at first I thought it was a child doll, looking closely to see that it was the child. I immediately ran around looking for a drill to cut the wall and called the authorities to report the incident. It was around 5.50 pm.”

The situation at that time was very chaotic, there were hundreds of people around. I borrowed the drill, chiseled for more than 10 minutes to save the baby. At first the drill was too small, I had to wait while waiting for Pham Thanh Cong to find a bigger drill. After chipping, I found the baby still lying still, until it was time to touch his body, he cried.”

Young Nguyen Duy Tuan, who took a drill to chisel the wall to save the newborn baby on August 18.

Duy Tuan is a plaster worker, he said: “My job is also familiar with drills, so I have experience in locating and calculating the position to cut the piece of the wall so as not to fall into the baby. Luong Bang was there with a broom to shield the baby so that broken brick dust will not hit the baby.”

After chiseling, an experienced woman picked up the baby at around 6.05 pm. Then a nearby medical station came to take the baby.”

Recalling the incident that day, Mr. Tuan said: “At that time I focused on cutting the wall and just wanted to save the baby. Firefighters and police came when I was almost finished drilling, but they just stood there to let my chisel. At that time, although I was tired, my head just wanted to save the baby. When I picked the baby out, everyone was relieved.”

Commenting about the information saying the local police have saved the baby, Mr. Tuan said: “I do not matter that.”

Pham Thanh Cong and a drill were used to chisel the wall to save the baby

Pham Thanh Cong, who lent the drill and also participated in the rescue, told BBC:

At that time I was moving house, a neighbor rushed over to ask for the drill and I went with them. The group of three neighbors directly drilled, I assisted with the installation of the equipment. We used a plastic broom to stop the baby’s head, the three of us drilled back so that the debris wouldn’t hit the baby’s head. We cut enough space to reach out to reach the baby.”

At that time I was shivering, these cases were usually only heard on the radio, never seen before, so I was also scared because I saw the baby was red, with the umbilical cord intact. But at that time, I only thought of how quickly to save the baby. As we took out the baby, everyone broke down, clapped their hands and the baby went away. Saving a small child was really emotional,” said Cong.

A medical staff taking care of the baby

Mr. Cong also added that when a woman held the baby, his wife also assisted in wrapping the baby with a towel and the medical station staff who had been present before waiting to take the baby away.

What did the police say?

Along with the claim that “the authorities had to punch the wall to take her out,” the Facebook page of the Hanoi Police also posted a photo of the policemen carrying the baby to the hospital and a photo in which a medical staff was taking care of the baby. The remaining two photos show a narrow wall slot and a large hole punched by someone.

On the Lao Dong newspaper, the Fire Police team and Trau Quy town police confirmed that they had chiseled to rescue the boy stuck in the 10cm wall slot.

There is no image showing that the police were performing a rescue operation at the scene.

There are many comments below the Facebook post of the police agency expressing doubts, even criticizing the “police robbery.”

Hello comrades Ly Thong. Nice picture,” commented a person named Hoang Dung. With a photo of the police carrying the baby into the hospital, this person added: “… The composition of the photo has been arranged by whom, is it artistic? You two look at the camera, you two look at the baby, express affection, and alternate with the color of the shirt. I give you a 9.5.”

There were also comments “cheering the police” and denouncing the person who threw the baby.

The baby was given health care at the medical station

After being accused of “Ly Thong robbing the public of Thach Sanh“, the police responded. On Dan Viet newspaper, a representative of Gia Lam district police said the unit had received information denouncing the “robbery” story.

This position confirmed that the information was posted on the Facebook page of Hanoi Police accurate and official.

There is a lot of unverified daily information on social networks, much conflicting information to increase interaction. About a stuck child, she is taken care of by the unit. I am well and stable. At present, it is not known who the mother is and the reason why he fell in the middle of the wall,” added the police representative.

On the Lao Dong newspaper, the Fire Police team and Trau Quy town police confirmed that they had carved a wall to rescue the boy stuck in the 10cm slot.

In the past few years, the police have focused on the communication to build their images. Articles on the achievements and good deeds of the police, as well as the police’s image, often appear in the newspapers and on social networks, when they return the falling money to the people, while pushing the cart to help people through the passage flooded road.

There was a time when the Vietnamese police published many pictures showing police officers helping the elderly to pick up oranges that fell on the road. But public opinion at the time said that the repetition of the content “helping the old man pick oranges” aroused criticism of the poor idea in the media image staging for the police. (Translated)


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