AHMADABAD, India - A newborn girl fell through the toilet in a moving train and onto the tracks moments after her mother gave birth prematurely, surviving nearly two hours before being found, relatives said yesterday.
The infant's mother, identified as Bhuri Kalbi, 33, was traveling with relatives on a train when she went to the bathroom shortly before midnight Tuesday and unexpectedly gave birth, said Arjun Kumar, her brother-in-law.
"Later, she fell unconscious and the baby fell through the toilet," he said. "Two stations later, we knocked at the door."
Ms. Kalbi opened the door, soaked in blood.
"When we asked her about what happened, she said the baby had fallen through onto the tracks," Mr. Kumar said.
Toilets on trains in India usually have holes that open directly onto the tracks. There were no indications that authorities doubted Ms. Kalbi's story or planned to investigate.
Mr. Kumar said that after finding Ms. Kalbi, relatives pulled the train's emergency brake and notified railway officials. A search was quickly organized, and guards at one of the stations the train had passed soon found the baby.
"She was on the rail track for almost 1 1/2 to two hours," said Dr. Gautam Jain, a pediatrician at Rajasthan Hospital in Ahmadabad, in the western state of Gujarat, where the baby and mother were taken.
The infant, who has not yet been named, was eight to 10 weeks premature and weighed only about 3 pounds, 4 ounces, Dr. Jain said. She had a low heart rate and body temperature.
"We do not expect such children to survive," Dr. Jain said, adding that her survival was "God's mercy."