The bodies of 21 babies, believed dumped by hospitals, have washed ashore on a riverbank in eastern China, state media reported Tuesday.
Video footage showed that the bodies — stashed in yellow plastic bags, at least one of which was marked "medical waste" — included some infants several months old. Some wore identification tags with their mothers' names, birth dates, measurements and weights. The official Xinhua News Agency said there were also fetuses among the bodies.
Residents discovered the remains under a bridge in the city of Jining, Shandong province, over the weekend. Tags on the feet of eight of the babies traced them back to a hospital in Jining, according to the People's Daily Web site. Three of them had been admitted earlier to the hospital in critical condition, the report said. It did not say when.
The other 13 bodies were unidentified. The number of girls or boys was not reported, according to a report in The Associated Press.
Local police and health officials said they had launched an investigation and several staff from the Jining hospital had been suspended.
A local television presenter attacked those responsible. He said: “Where do these babies come from? From which damned hospital?”
In an unusually emotional outburst for Chinese television, he said: "These infants never had a chance to walk on this Earth and that is already their tragedy. But shouldn’t you then dispose of them properly instead of just tossing them out? These people have the hearts of dogs. They are hateful and contemptible," Times Online reported.