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July 29, 2013

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Unattended boy dies after falling into sewer

The body of an 11-year-old boy was found yesterday morning after he fell in a sewer in the Pudong New Area on Saturday evening.


The boy was left unattended by his parents, who are migrant workers from Henan Province, at the time. He was playing with three friends on a road that is under construction in Chuansha in Pudong.


The accident occurred about 8pm on Saturday when he stepped on a plank of wood covering a manhole. The plank broke and he fell into the manhole, a police investigation found.


He had been washed away by the time his parents arrived at the scene, TV news reported.


Firefighters couldn’t find the boy in the 8-meter-deep sewer and the rescue operation was called off.


His body was found elsewhere in the drainage system at 6am yesterday.


The boy’s grandmother was seen wailing on a local television news report yesterday.


“There is no cover,” she was heard crying. “Not even a plastic one.”


Residents said children often play at the construction site, where many manholes don’t have covers. They also said there are no warning signs or barriers around the uncovered manholes.


The city government has started probing into the case.


In March, a 21-year-old college woman, Yang Lijun, fell into a manhole during a rainstorm in Changsha City, capital of Hunan Province, after its cover had been swept away by flood waters.


Her body was found two months later about 90 kilometers away.


In response, Changsha installed safety nets in 500 manholes to prevent such accidents in the future. The nylon nets can hold up to 600 kilograms.


Shanghai started installing such safety nets in manholes after the city entered its main flood season on July 1.


Sixty-five nets will be added in Huangpu District by the end of this month. Each net costs 150 yuan (US$24.44) and will be replaced every two years, according to media reports.






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