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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Death Traps: Stolen Manhole Covers

Manhole covers are being stolen for scrap metal all over the world. The problem is especially bad in India and China. It is still considered just a prank or an act of petty vandalism in the United States.

Over 10,000 manhole covers were stolen in two months in Calcutta, India. The replaced manhole covers, made of concrete, were also stolen for the iron rods inside them.

According to China's Xinhua news agency: "Approximately 240,000 manhole and street- drain covers were stolen in Beijing in 2004."

The BBC reported that authorities in the Chinese city of Shanghai have called for greater punishment for manhole cover thieves, after eight people had fallen down uncovered manholes and died between June 2003 to January 2004.

10,000 manhole covers vanish [TelegraphIndia.com, Sep. 7, 2004]
Putting a lid on rampant manhole theft [money.cnn.com, Mar. 15, 2005]
China manhole thefts prove deadly [bbc, Jan. 29, 2004]
Manhole cover theft [wikipedia.org]

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