Staffers at an eastern Chinese hospital have been disciplined after the bodies of 21 fetuses and infants were found improperly discarded near a river, according to officials and media reports.
A total of 21 bodies were found near the Guangfu river, Jining City officials said in a statement Tuesday.
"The investigation has found that the Jining Hospital Affiliated Medical College mortuary staff violated hospital management policies/regulations," the statement said.
The hospital's deputy director and the deputy director of its logistics department were removed, the statement said. In addition, two staffers working in the "repose room" of the hospital were fired "and have been detained according to the law."
The dead children and fetuses were believed to have died from illness, and the two staffers, Zhu Zhenyu and Wang Zhijun, verbally agreed with relatives to dispose of the bodies and took money from them, but instead secretly transported the bodies to the river, the statement said. The bodies, which officials said "were not fully buried," were found after media reports prompted officials to investigate, the statement said.
Eight of the bodies had tabs with clinic code numbers attached to their feet, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The tabs showed the bodies came from the Jining hospital.
– CNN's Jaime Florcruz and Jo Kent contributed to this report.