Taipei mayor surprised by floating corpse

A river cleanup yields more than garbage.

Published February 7, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

When Ma Ying-jeau, mayor of Taipei, took a tour of the River Tanshui in
January, his aim was to show his constituents and fellow government
officials just how badly the brackish river needed cleaning.

He found all of the evidence he needed when the corpse of a 56-year-old
Taipei man floated by.

According to a Reuters report, the mayor was "undaunted" and continued
sniffing cups of the murky water while local police stood by, trying to save

Ma's goal is to turn the Tanshui and Keelung riverfronts into tourist
attractions. He's got his work cut out for him -- much of Taipei's
untreated sewage ends up in the city's waterways, as does the occasional
dead body. Officials of Taiwan's capital city confirmed as many as 10
bodies a year are found in the rivers -- in addition to nearly 600 tons of

Still, the mayor was optimistic. "It smells much better than it used to,"
he said.

By J.A. Getzlaff

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