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Rescuers pulled the newborn from the drain following a grueling four-hour operation.

A grueling four hour rescue operation has seen a newborn baby pulled from a storm drain to the cheers of onlookers.

Rescue Care Paramedics arrived to the scene in Durban, South Africa, on Monday (local time) after residents heard a baby crying from deep inside the concrete storm drain.

KwaZulu-Natal emergency medical services spokesperson Robert McKenzie told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that the baby was “washed about 5 or 6 metres further down the drain pipe”.

”It’s good news for the ending of this rescue today,” he said.

“We’d like to congratulate all the rescuers and personnel and paramedics who worked together.”

The area was dug up and a chisel and hammer were used to break into the drain. A video on twitter shows an official lifting the baby out of the a pit following the successful rescue.

The infant was airlifted from the scene and is being treated at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital.

Police are launching an investigation as to why the newborn was “dumped” in the first place.