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Vietnam’s "Electric Man" Dies From Shock

September 12, 2006

HANOI - A Vietnamese man who became famous for his ability to conduct electricity through his body has died from electric shock, police said on Tuesday.

Nguyen Van Hung, who was also affectionately known as “Mr. Electricity,” was killed Thursday while trying to fix a water pump.

Hung, in his early 40's was from Dinh Binh Village in the southern province of Ca Mau,located about 225 miles southwest of Ho Chi Minh city. Local people there dubbed him "Hung Electric" because of his unusual ability to withstand electric shocks.

“He was repairing the electric pump while in bare feet,” said Tran Van Dung, deputy director of the police department in Ca Mau province. “He died when he got a shock from the 220-volt current.”

Hung became known for his ability to conduct electricity after he appeared on the "Strange Stories of Vietman" television program last year where he endured shocks with no apparent problem.

“He could use his body as part of the electrical wire to light up a lamp or make an electric fan work,” said Dung, who saw the program. Hung often used his bare hands to fix electric cables and sometimes he would demonstrate how he could put his two fingers in a plug without being shocked.

Hoa Thanh Tung, the producer of the show, which featured Hung’s unique “talent,” said he was stunned when he learned that Hung died from an electrical shock.

“On the show, he directly touches a bare wire with a 220-volt current,” said Tung. “He also used his tongue to lick an electric wire. He was an amazing and extraordinary man.”

Despite his fame, Hung had recently fallen on difficult times. His shrimp business collapsed and he went bankrupt, owing 20,000 dollars. At the time of his death, Hung was living in a pagoda, practicing the tenets of Buddhism.

“Many people in the commune think that when he became a vegetarian he lost his ability to resist electrical shocks,” said Dung, of the police department.


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