‘Bodies in canal’ rumour scotched

The canal bridge at Stainforth.
The canal bridge at Stainforth.
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Police have moved to calm fears after rumours swept social media of bodies being found in a Doncaster canal.

Scores of people on Facebook and Twitter claimed police had closed off the bridge near The New Inn at Stainforth over the weekend, following the discovery of a body in the foundations of the bridge.

The rumour, which was shared by nearly 600 people, and originally posted from someone under the name Paul Butterley, said: “Stainforth canal bridge to come down.

“Police have found a body in foundations and think there maybe more than one, possibly up to three.”

The information spread along with a photo of workers in high-visibility clothing near the bridge.

However, a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police ruled out the information as a hoax.

He said: “We’ve done a comprehensive search for all incidents in and around the canal in Stainforth over the weekend.

“We can’t find anything regarding bodies in the canal or indeed the bridge foundations – it looks like the rumour mill at work again.”

Last weekend, police had to deal with a similar problem when reports of a series of explosions across Doncaster town centre were spread using social media.

People claimed the blasts were gas explosions, demolition work and even a riot at Doncaster Prison – until South Yorkshire Police revealed that the actual cause was loud fireworks.