New York man fatally electrocuted after pissing on the subway's third rail

Fatally Electrocuted While Urinating, New York Man Dies

A New York man was fatally electrocuted while urinating along the subway tracks near the Broadway G train stop; as though out of some unfortunate urban legend lore.

Early Monday morning, 30-year-old Matthew Zeno, and another unnamed man, were walking north on the southbound side of the subway near Union Avenue, reports the Huffington Post, when Zeno felt inclined to pause and urinate on the train rails.

However, Zeno inadvertently pissed on the third rail, whereupon he was fatally electrocuted by the contact current as it traveled along the urine stream and into his body.

While trying to render Zeno aid, the unidentified bystander also sustained an electrical shock.

Both men were rushed to the Woodhull Hospital and regular train service resumed.

Zeno died as a result of cardiac arrest – stemming from the fatal electric jolt he endured. The other man was last listed in serious but stable condition.

Because urine naturally expels an excess of salts from the body, a stream can be conductive – by how much depends on the density of the sodium chloride. Therefore, it is entirely possible to be electrocuted while urinating, based on a scientific report from the Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

The voltage necessary for electrocution depends on the current through the body and the duration of the current, according to Ohm’s law.

When a person is electrocuted with a sufficient enough current – whether by urinating on or making direct contact with a charge emitting apparatus or exposed electrical wiring – death can result. Smaller currents can be imperceptible, while more significant ones, such as being struck by lightning, surpass noteworthy.

Because the majority of the human body is made up of water, it’s extremely easy for electricity to course through it in a matter of seconds, according to HowStuffWorks. At a minimum, being electrocuted through a mild electric shock can cause headaches, muscular fatigue, spams, and temporary unconsciousness. From there, a more serious current can cause severe burns, vision loss, hearing loss, brain damage, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest (heart attack), and death.

[Image via Shutterstock]