June 12, 2009 / 4:50 PM / 10 years ago

"Forgotten" body spends night in London bus depot

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Early morning commuters found the body of a 25-year-old man on a London bus after it lay forgotten overnight at a bus depot, an inquest showed on Friday.

Pawel Modzelewski, who coroners said died of an overdose, was found cold and pale slumped in his seat holding a syringe and a small wrap of what appeared to be heroin, by a passenger in the British capital in January.

Closed circuit television footage and a court hearing revealed that the driver had noticed the unconscious man on the top level of his double-decker bus and attempted to wake him, but later forgot about the man when he clocked off duty.

“He forgot to tell anyone about the man,...the cleaners didn’t clean the bus and on finishing his duty, the driver went home,” Paul Bailey, accident prevention manager for London Central Bus Company, told Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

Andrew Harris, a coroner at Southwark Coroner’s Court, where the inquest was heard, told the paper that, although the cause of death was an overdose, there had been “missed opportunities” to save the Polish man’s life.

Reporting by Josie Cox, editing by Paul Casciato

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