13th September 2010
Airport cleaners tidying up an aircraft that had landed in Manila were shocked to find a new-born baby boy in a toilet's rubbish bin today.
Filipino doctors hold-on to a newborn baby found in the bin of a toilet in an aircraft that landed at Manila's international airport
A search has now begun for the mother, who investigators are convinced gave birth in the toilet as the Gulf Air jet flew to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia.
'She appears to have left the aircraft as soon as possible after the plane landed,' said a police officer.
The clean-up team which boarded the plane found the baby as a new flight crew were making plans to fly the plane back to Bahrain.
Doctors at the international airport rushed to the plane and began checking the new-born baby and decided that he was in good health.
Airport photographs saw the baby, wrapped in a towel while doctors warmed in him up under a light bulb.
Officials at the airport said they had named the child George Francis - based on Gulf Air's airline code, GF - as efforts began to find the mother.
'As soon as Gulf Air Flight 154 landed she hurried from the aircraft and left the terminal building,' said an official.
'We haven't been able to determine the nationality of the child at this stage - whether her mother or parents are from Saudi Arabia or the Philippines.'
Authorities said they were baffled as to how the woman had managed to conceal the in-flight birth from other passengers and return to her seat without drawing attention to herself.
Officials said they were also surprised that no-one else who had used the toilet noticed anything unusual.
'The good news is that the baby is healthy and weighs around 6lb 6oz,' said Dr Maria Teresa Agores, who was on duty in Terminal 1 when the baby was brought to her.
Airline staff contributed to buy clothes and other essentials for the baby boy.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said she was angered by what happened, adding that police have been ordered to search for the infant's mother, who could be criminally charged.
"I was simply outraged, no infant should be treated that way," Soliman said.
She said the baby will be turned over to the mother's relatives or put up for adoption.
Many Filipinos are forced to work as maids and laborers abroad, including the Middle East, to escape crushing poverty and unemployment at home.
In July this year an Indian woman who gave birth to a baby in a plane's toilet tried to flush it down the toilet bowl.
The child was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.