Bodies of 21 infants retrieved from Chinese river

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Beijing, Mar.31 (ANI): A shocked China has launched a probe into the discovery of bodies of 21 babies from a river in eastern Jining City.

The bodies are believed to have been dumped by hospitals, and were discovered on the outskirts of Jining after they came ashore.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that two senior hospital staffers and two mortuary workers have been fired after the bodies and foetes were found on the riverbank.

At least eight bodies had tags indicating they were from the Jining Medical University Hospital in Shandong province, Xinhua reported.

Authorities were quoted by Beijing News saying the corpses could have been those of aborted foetuses or babies who had died of illness.

City government spokesman Gong Zhenhua said two mortuary workers had been fired in connection with the incident and were in police custody.

Naming the two workers as Zhu Zhenyu and Wang Zhijun, Gong said both were paid to dispose of the bodies.

"Investigations by police and health authorities show that Zhu and Wang had reached verbal agreements privately with relatives of the dead babies to dispose the bodies and charged fees," he said.

"They subsequently transported the bodies secretly to the Guangfu River, but they had failed to bury the bodies completely."

Two senior officials, Li Luning and He Xin, director and deputy director of the hospital's logistics department, were removed from their posts, and a vice president of the hospital, Niu Haifeng, was suspended, Gong said.

The incident exposed "a serious loophole in the hospital's management and indicates a lack of ethics and legal awareness of some hospital staff", he said.

He said the city government had ordered health authorities to immediately launch a general overhaul of body treatment at all local hospitals.

The 21 bodies had been cremated, Xinhua reported. (ANI)

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