I read an item in the London Times yesterday on the plane from Frankfurt to JFK, about a 61 year-old Croatian man named Tomislav K. who died last Saturday morning while sitting in a seat on a moving tram in Zagreb, and how his body wasn’t noticed until he (it) had cruised around town for roughly six hours.

The same thing happened to a 55 year-old guy named Edy Haryanto on or about April 27th in Jakarta, Indonesia, the only difference being that he travelled around for “at least half a day” before being noticed, according to this MSNBC story.
My first response when I read about Tomislav K. was, of course, that early scene between Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx in Michael Mann’s Collateral, which went precisely as follows::

Max: “First time in L.A.?”

Vincent: “No. Tell you the truth, whenever I’m here I can’t wait to leave. It’s too sprawled out, disconnected. You know? That’s me. You like it?”

Max: “It’s my home.”

Vincent: “17 million people. This is got to be the fifth biggest economy in the world and nobody knows each other. I read about this guy who gets on the MTA here, dies.”

Max: “Oh.”

Vincent: “Six hours he’s riding the subway before anybody notices his corpse doing laps around L.A., people on and off sitting next to him. Nobody notices.”

I just found it a bit startling that the anonymous Collateral corpse and the dead Croatian guy both cruised for the exact same time period. No biggie, but still…
I searched around and found a 4.30.07 post on Digg.com from a guy named “thecash,” to wit:
“I hate to point something morbid like this out, but this sort of thing happens quite a bit on trains and buses.
“I used to work for a passenger train service, and a large part of our summer business came from the elderly. Seeing how the entire ride is anywhere from 12 to 13 hours, it’s very possible for an older passenger traveling alone to pass away in the middle of the ride and not be noticed until the train pulled into it’s last stop around 11pm. People sleep on that train all the time, especially when the weather gets bad.
“It’s not something they mention in the brochures, but there are usually four fatalities every year onboard the passenger service cars. That number has dropped a lot since the company started carrying AED’s [note: Automated External Defibrillators] onboard, but sometimes when it’s a person’s time to go, there isn’t anything that can be done about it. We kept big bags in the luggage car just for this purpose.”