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Man Electrocuted on 1 Train Track in Washington Heights

By Nicole Bode | January 6, 2011 10:11am | Updated on January 6, 2011 11:18am

By Carla Zanoni and Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Staff

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS – An apparently homeless man was electrocuted on the third rail at the 1 train tracks at the 181st Street station Thursday, officials said.

A conductor on a northbound 1 train spotted the man, who officials have not identified, standing in the path of the oncoming train at the St. Nicholas Ave. and 181st Street station shortly after 8 a.m., according to Transit Supervisor John Boldt.

The driver braked to a halt in time to avoid hitting the man, who ran toward the southbound tracks and was electrocuted on the third rail, Bolt said.

Workers cut down the power to the third rail immediately, and sent crews in to retrieve the body and bring it back to the platform, where medical personnel were waiting, Boldt said. The man was not identified.

The 1 train entrance at 181st Street.
The 1 train entrance at 181st Street.
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DNAinfo/Carla Zanoni

The MTA did not immediately return calls for comment.

The description of events differs from what a transit worker at the subway station described earlier, in a version of events that did not end in the man's death.

Service on the 1 train was restored shortly after 9:30 a.m., witnesses said.

Boldt said the conductor of the northbound 1 train and another conductor of a southbound train that was further away from the scene will follow protocol and be tested for drugs and alcohol, even though it does not appear they did anything wrong.

Both conductors have requested medical attention because they are so shaken up by the gruesome death, Boldt said.