MYSTERY surrounds the identity of a man whose body was found in the canal in Oswaldtwistle, police said.

Detectives investigating the death of a man found in a section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal off Blackburn Road on Sunday afternoon said they were treating the death as ‘unexplained’.


Despite hours of work on Sunday and Monday, officers said they had been unable to identify the man, discover his cause of death or how he came to be in the water.

Police said the body was discovered by a member of the public at around 12.25pm on Sunday.

Officers are now appealing for anyone who witnessed what happened or anyone who may help identify the man to contact them.

A fingertip search of bushes around the canal was carried out by police yesterday, and DI Simon Upton said they were looking for any evidence or possessions which could offer clues.

He added: “The man had nothing on him that would help identify him and we can’t yet say how long he was in the water before he was seen.

“It’s being treated as an unexplained death involving an adult male and our main priority at the moment is to identify the man and inform next of kin and establish why he was in the canal.

“We’ve had officers up there just to make sure we’re not missing any evidence or items that could assist us with identification.” Coroner Michael Singleton has been informed of the death and a post-mortem exam-ination was due to take place at the Royal Blackburn Hospital yesterday.

The canal, which runs parallel to Blackburn Road before heading north-west around Church, is a popular mooring spot and is well-used by ramblers.

Firefighters and police were initially alerted to the dis-covery at around 12.25pm on Sunday.

Anyone with any information that may help with the investigation should call police on 101.