Beijing man lives down manhole for 20 years to save on rent for family Published: 2013-12-5 18:01:34

A manhole in Beijing's Lido Garden Community similar to that where Wang lived, where residents claim an old couple lived for about five years. The hole is covered with cardboard and kept in place with rocks. Photo:


The inside of the well Photo:

Beijing city authorities have found accommodations for a man who claimed he had lived for nearly 20 years at the bottom of a manhole to save money in order to put his children through school.

Residents called police after finding the 53-year-old man surnamed Wang living down a utility well in the Lido Garden Community in Chaoyang district on December 4 - a dark and rank space of four square meters to which he sealed the entrance with a piece of cardboard.

Wang claimed he had lived in the space for nearly two decades in order to help support his three school-age children back home in north Beijing's Huairou district, 40 kilometers away.

"It costs a lot to put three children through school. My wife takes care of the kids at home while I look for odd jobs. It costs at least 300 yuan ($49) to rent a room, so [in order to save money] I've lived in the well for almost 20 years," said Wang.

Authorities explain they have arranged temporary accommodations for Wang.

"We will contact with his family members and send him to a rescue center if necessary," said a police officer.

Utility employees explained that although there are no public heating lines that run through the utility wells, they are still very dangerous.

"There is a lot of equipment down there. It's unimaginable what would happen if someone carelessly touched it," said an employee at the Beijing Heating Power Group.

Beijing Morning Post

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