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Rotting body in bank mystifies French cops

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08:33 CET+01:00

French rescue workers were trying on Tuesday to keep a half-rotted corpse intact as they prised it out of a bank's air vent in order to determine if the dead man was trying to rob the establishment.

Credit Foncier employees had been complaining of a bad smell in their bank branch in the city of Lyon since last September, and on Monday a worker trying to find the source of the stench discovered the body.

The dead man became stuck in a bend in the vent and investigators were trying to find out "if it was a homeless man seeking refuge or an attempted break-in that went wrong", said local prosecutor Marc Desert.

Firefighters and plumbing specialists were planning to widen the 50-centimetre (20-inch) shaft to get better access to the body and keep it in one piece to help police inquiries.

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