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They Lifted Manhole Cover, Found a Grim Mystery

Decomposing body found in shaft under Midtown Manhattan street
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2019 2:34 PM CDT
   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A grim mystery in New York City: A Verizon crew removed a 200-pound manhole cover and say they were immediately overcome by a horrible smell. Inside the shaft below was a mess of telephone wiring—and a decaying body. It was a puzzling find: There is no other access to the shaft and removing the cover requires a tool and two sets of hands, reports ABC7.

That's not all: The cover sits on 58th Street between Eighth Avenue and Broadway, a location so busy that the Verizon crew had waited until about 3:15am Tuesday to start their work there, reports the New York Times. Police say the state of decomposition suggested the man had been there for "some time," perhaps days. It's thus far unclear whether foul play was involved or what the cause of death was; it's possible he was homeless. An autopsy has been scheduled. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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