A man has lost his life this morning after being pulled from a Manchester city centre canal known for being a ‘drug dealing hotspot’.
Emergency services were called at around 2.55am to a waterway just off Dale Street, near Piccadilly, where they found a body, believed to be of a middle-aged man, floating on the water.
The man has become the next fatality in the ongoing canal saga which saw city centre spokesman Pat Karney speak out only two weeks ago about plans to lock up the stretch of water ‘to prevent any further fatalities’.
A local resident who lives in apartments that overlook the incident site told MM anonymously: “This is a horrible thing to see right outside your apartment but I’m really sad to say I’m not surprised.
“This area is without doubt a drug dealing hotspot. They wait by the edge of the canal for ‘customers’ to arrive and then go under the bridge where they can’t be seen, presumably to do the deal.
“I’ve seen plenty of scuffles and arguments erupt there. There are always dodgy looking characters waiting around there at all times, but particularly at night.”
Plans to improve security in the area were given momentum in January after rumours emerged that the deaths of the 61 people pulled out of Manchester’s canals in the last six years could be linked.
The council pledged new barriers, grab rails and safety chains for the undercroft at Dale Street to address ‘serious health and safety issues’.
The anonymous resident spoke of their concern about the lack of police clamping down on drug dealing in the area, claiming the extent of the problem was common knowledge among residents.
“I don’t know if the poor victim was involved at all or if this was linked to the dealers but I personally don’t think it’s a coincidence – he could have just been passing by and interrupted something,” he said.
“Who knows? But unfortunately I don’t think this will make anything change. The dealers will be back soon enough.”
The death is being treated as non-suspicious, with a post-mortem due take place to establish the cause of death. Police said enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances as to how the victim ended up in the water.
Anyone with any information is advised to call Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks