ABU DHABI // Police in the Philippines are searching for a woman who left a dead foetus on a plane flying from Abu Dhabi to Manila.
A cleaner at Ninoy Aquino Airport found the male foetus, which was at five to six months gestation, in a waste bin in the rear lavatory of Etihad flight EY428 shortly after it arrived in the Philippine capital on Monday night.
An airport official said they had no leads so far on the identity of the mother. “All the passengers had already disembarked when the foetus was discovered,” he said. “A doctor examined it and we turned it over to the scene of the crime operations for investigation.”
The Pasay City police chief, Senior Superintendent Napoleon Cuaton, who is leading the investigation, said police were waiting for Etihad’s station manager to provide a copy of the flight passenger list. “So far, we have no means to check the names of the female passengers on that flight.”
The body is now with the investigative laboratory, he said.
Mr Cuaton said the investigation would involve a “process of elimination”. “Once we receive a copy of the manifest, our task will be easier. We’re counting on the cooperation of Etihad in our investigation.”
Police will contact all the female passengers. “The mother will have to explain why she left the foetus inside the plane’s lavatory,” he said. “Her actions should be justified. Did she suffer a miscarriage? If she did, she should have asked for help from one of the flight attendants.”
This is the second such incident in four months. In September a Filipina passenger gave birth on a Gulf Air flight to Manila, and dumped the live infant in a rubbish bag that was unloaded from the plane. Police later identified her as an overseas worker who had boarded the flight in Bahrain.