May 10, 2004
"Honest, officer, I found it just lying there in the middle of the street."
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
China's tearaway economic growth is becoming a physical danger to pedestrians and motorists worldwide, as thefts of manhole covers and drain gratings are attributed to the Chinese demand for scrap metal.Posted by Brenden at May 10, 2004 11:08 AM
The surging Chinese appetite for steel to feed its construction boom has sent scrap iron prices up to $US300 ($AU400) a tonne in recent weeks from about $US70 only two years ago, making these humble municipal assets a more attractive target for thieves.
In Shanghai, more than 1500 manhole covers have disappeared since the beginning of February, causing eight serious accidents.
...In Milwaukee, in the US, thieves have swiped over 160 sewer grates and manhole covers so far this year, exposing pedestrians to falls into deep water or shafts over 10 metres deep. Each of the typical grates weighs about 68 kg, meaning that only 15 are required to make up a tonne.
In Aberdeen, Scottish police say some 130 drain gratings have gone, while in the English town of Gloucester, two men have been charged with stealing 40 grates and preparing to ship them to a smelter in south Wales.
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