A New York subway operator is alive after he was set on fire during an electrical accident on the job recently. The 45 year old veteran employee was working at the 239th Street Yard when he accidently dropped a piece of equipment which hit an electrified third rail of the subway track. This led to an electrical explosion which injured the worker.
The man is recovering from burns suffered in the explosion at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. He was working overtime when the accident occurred on a day he should have been off. He suffered second and third-degree burns over approximately 30 percent of his body in the workplace explosion.
The metal piece of equipment was said to be a 200 pound coupler used to keep subway cars connected. When the coupler hit the electrified rail electrical bolts shot out knocking the worker to the ground and setting him on fire. The man attempted to roll on the ground to put out the flames but was not successful. He ultimately had to rip off his clothing to put extinguish the flames and save his own life.
A female co-worker on the job site immediately called for help. She was said to have suffered significant trauma after witnessing her fellow employee catch on fire. She was later hospitalized as a result of the trauma.
The burned worker is said to have kept a positive outlook throughout his ordeal and counts his blessings as the accident could have been worse. He suggested that rather than land on the rail, the coupler could have ricocheted off of the rail and hit him in the chest ‘like a missile’, a scenario which certainly would have proven deadly.