Subway squeeze

A few years ago there were reports of a man who had fallen from a subway platform just as the train was coming into the station. The train pinned this guy between itself and the platform base, which are only four or something inches apart. The man reportedly was wedged in that four inch space from the waist down and survived long enough for his wife to get there so he could say goodbye. This has UL written all over it yet snopes has nothing on it.


Did this really happen?
And if it did, how can a full grown man possibly fit into such a small space without dying instantly? Is it anatomically possible?

which subway system? I agree this sounds like garbage.

NYC and DC subways are nearly flush with the platforms (except for Union Sq. and they have special moving platform sections to close the gap.) I don’t know much about Boston or Chicago subway trains…

but the train comes in very quickly. generally if someone is in front of the train when it arrives, they are killed on impact (or electrocuted by being knocked into the 3rd rail) I don’t understand the explanation of how he came to be “wedged” in there. Seems impossible.

I think it’s bullshit. The guy was pinned between the platform and the train. When the train came passed him it basically wound his lower body like a top. The pressure of him being wedged kept him alive. Once the train was removed the guy’s, um, innards, would basically spill out. So the train was, in effect, a tourniquet.

Nice story, huh?

It was the plot of an episode of “Homicide”.

However, it is certainly possible in theory, depending on the exact measurements of the train and platform…

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams


Um… I went to snopes, and searched for “subway” and got your UL:

FTR - There is a 5-10 inch gap at some stations in the London Undergound. Hence the warning: “Mind the Gap!”

Thanks for the links. I’ll take more time researching these things.

There’s a good article in this week’s issue of Time Out NY on urban legends. The subway story is one of the only ones that they actually give credence to.

So that’s what that is from. There is a bar in Atlanta that has a London Underground “Mind the Gap” sign hanging over the urinals in the men’s room. I thought it had something to do with a suggestion to keep the place clean.