A video of a man collapsing on train tracks after a live power line fell on him has garnered close to a million views on a tweet that attributes the accident to him using “bluetooth headphones near power lines and facilities.” high voltage”. But the claim is false: the real-life incident, which was filmed in India, was not related to the use of a Bluetooth device. Additionally, radiation experts ruled out any possibility of electrocution due to the use of a Bluetooth headset in a high-voltage area.

On January 11, 2023, this tweet shared the video along with a message warning the public to “avoid using Bluetooth headsets near high-voltage power lines and facilities.”

“The brain could be directly struck by the electrical current from the wires, precipitating a quick death,” read the tweet shared more than 4,500 times.

In the clip, two men are seen talking next to the train tracks when one of them is suddenly struck by a falling live electrical wire. He falls backwards onto the tracks as the other man runs away.

A screenshot of the fake tweet, taken on January 17, 2023

The same claim was repeated in Facebook posts here and here.

While the video shows a real accident, its cause is not related to any Bluetooth device.

Accident in India

A reverse image search across several keyframes using the InVID-WeVerify video verification tool revealed news articles covering the incident, which took place in India at the Kharagpur railway station in West Bengal on December 7, 2022.

According to reports (see here, here and here), the victim who was identified as Sujan Singh Sardar and his colleague were ticket inspectors.

Sardar was electrocuted by a collapsing live wire, captured on CCTV footage, and suffered severe burns.

Local media quoted the train station as saying the incident “could have been caused by birds as they often pick up small wires.”

The Bluetooth electrocution claim was dismissed as “false” by Rodney Croft, who chairs the Germany-based International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

He told AFP Fact Check that Bluetooth and electrical currents work on two different frequencies that do not allow alteration.

“Bluetooth works using wireless technology, communicating via ‘radio frequency’ electromagnetic fields (RF EMF) that travel through the air. These RF electromagnetic fields have a very different frequency than “low-frequency electrical currents used to power homes and trains, and these RF electromagnetic fields cannot conduct (alter the path of) low-frequency currents” , said.

“Consequently, Bluetooth devices will not cause low-frequency electrical currents to shock a person, and it is not dangerous to use them near trains or high-voltage cables,” he added.