Graveyard Shift What Happens To Your Body If You Die In The NYC Subway?  

Erin Wisti
1.8k views 11 items

While no one likes to think about it, accidents involving public transportation sometimes happen and, on occasion, people even pass from natural causes in public places. What happens when you die on a subway? It depends on where you live, but dead bodies on New York City subways are subjected to questionable treatment. Bodies must be removed from public spaces as quickly as possible and are then stored in whatever non-public room is closest. 

Unfortunately, for Metro Transit Authority (MTA) workers, break rooms, bathrooms, and even lunch rooms are often used as temporarily storage chambers for dead bodies. These grizzly NYC subway secrets leave some workers upset and even traumatized.

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Photo: Tampa Police Department/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Bodies Are Quickly Moved To The Nearest Available Room

When a body is found on a New York City subway, it’s important for transit workers to act fast to get the trains moving again and to minimize the number of people who see the body. Bodies must be transported as quickly as possible to a non-public room until authorities arrive. This fast-paced procedure results in the unfortunate practice of placing bodies in whatever space is nearest at the time, which means it’s common practice to bag corpses and place them in bathrooms, break rooms, and even lunchrooms used by MTA workers.

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Photo:  Gothamist /YouTube

Workers Often Feel Traumatized When They Stumble Upon Bodies

Over the years, many Metro Transit Authority (MTA) workers have had the unfortunate experience of inadvertently stumbling upon a dead body. It’s not uncommon for workers to walk into a bathroom or break room to find a corpse. MTA workers have reported feeling traumatized by the experience. Workers are sometimes sent home for the day after stumbling upon a dead body, and the emotional distress can last for years.

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Photo:  XEnchantedAngelX/YouTube

One Worker Discovered Body Parts In A Bathroom Sink

LeShawn Jones, an MTA station worker, shared a particularly brutal experience in an interview with Business Insider. Jones entered the employee bathroom at a Harlem subway stop and discovered a body. The scene was gruesome—she reportedly saw hair, scalp, and other body parts in the sink. Of the incident, Jones said, “That can totally mess with your psyche, not just for that day but for the future as well.”

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Photo: Pacific Coast Highway/WikiMedia Commons /Public Domain

A Body Was Once Stored In A Bathroom On A Subway Platform On A Hot Day

A controversy erupted in August 2017 when the body of a man killed on a subway was stored in an out-of-service bathroom on a subway platform. It was the nearest available non-public space, and commuters were concerned when they learned they were sharing the platform with a body. People were particularly worried because of the excessive heat, which caused the corpse to decompose quickly during the 30 minutes it took for medical professionals to arrive. Afterwards, a maintenance worker was responsible for cleaning the bathroom where the body had been stored.