Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Residents make gruesome discovery in water tank

WATER SHOCKER People living in a building complex in Yonghe got a shock when they found out what was making their water smell and look odd

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Residents of a building complex in Yonghe, Taipei County, have discovered that they might have been drinking contaminated water for at least three days. This follows the discovery of the body of a dead man in the complex's water tower, according to a report yesterday.

A police officer in charge of the case, Kuo Cheng-hsien (郭承憲), told Chinese-language newspaper the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) that residents of the building complex decided to check the water tower, located on the top of the building, after experiencing water that smelled unusual and appeared cloudy over the the past few days. They found the corpse in the tank on Friday.

Kuo said the deceased was a 27-year-old man named Kuo Chih-wei (郭志維), whose uncle lives in the building adjacent to the complex.

Police believed the deceased had been in the water tower for at least three days.

According to the report, the 20 households living in the building complex were horrified to learn about the body in the water tank and felt sick that they might have been drinking contaminated water.

The report said that residents had not used tapwater since the corpse was discovered, and that a couple of restaurants located on the first floor of the complex was sourcing water from elsewhere.

Kuo Cheng-hsien was quoted as saying in the report that there were no signs of injury on Kuo's body. Police believed the deceased was not murdered, but died accidentally.

Because Kuo Chih-wei had a criminal record for drug abuse, police speculated he might have fallen into the water tower accidentally while under the influence of drugs.

The water tower is 3m high, and somebody could easily drown after falling into it, the paper quoted the policeman as saying.

Prosecutors would conduct an autopsy as soon as possible the official added.

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