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Man Who Caught Fire Atop Train In Greenwich Was Not 'Surfing,' MTA Says

Brian McClellan died Sunday after receiving catching fire atop a Metro-North train.
Brian McClellan died Sunday after receiving catching fire atop a Metro-North train. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The 21-year-old actor who died after he caught fire while riding atop a Metro-North train in Greenwich was not “train surfing,” according to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority official.

Brian McClellan “climbed a ladder on the train” that employees use to “access the pantographs” that connect the train to the overhead power lines, spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said Friday. Anders told the Daily Voice that McClellan did not gain access to the roof of the train car through a window.

“Our windows do not open with the exception of emergency exits,” Anders said.

Metro-North crews stopped the train at the Riverside station in Greenwich early Sunday morning to investigate after the train lost power. They found McClellen on fire atop the train.

McClellen was electrocuted and burned after a pantograph fell on him as the train entered the station, Metro-North said.

Crews used fire extinguishers to put out the flames before McClellan was transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., in critical condition. He died Monday of his injures; he was burned on more than 85 percent of his body.

Authorities are still investigating why McClellen was on top of the train, Anders said.

McClellen, a native of Cleveland, was reportedly an actor and model living in New York City, according to

Earlier reports said he had jumped onto the top of the train after it left the Stamford train station.

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