An unlucky man in the south-east town of Montmélian spent Saturday night with his head trapped in a sewer.

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Man spends nine hours stuck in sewer

An unlucky man in the south-east town of Montmélian spent Saturday night with his head trapped in a sewer.

Man spends nine hours stuck in sewer
Frédéric Bisson

Local newspaper Le Dauphine reported that the man had dropped his wallet down the sewer in an underground car park and went to retrieve it. 

While doing so he slipped, ending up with his head in the sewer and his legs sticking out the top. He was unable to move from the space, just 40 centimetres wide and 1.5 metres deep.

The 40-year-old was stuck in the same position all night until someone using the car park spotted his feet sticking out of the sewer the next morning.

The passer-by called the emergency services who pulled out the man and resuscitated him. He was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Unfortunately for the man, there were yet more problems in store. Police also spotted that he had been siphoning off waste oil from his car into the sewer at the time.

Disposing of waste oil in this way is an offence in France, with serious cases risking up to two years in prison and a fine of €76,000 ($97,000). 

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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