In Southern France, a train has accidentally hit and killed three people after resting on the train tracks, Metro UK reports.
The train was on a line that links the seaside resort town of Hendaye, on France’s border with Spain, and the city of Bordeaux, according to the national railway company, SNCF.
The four migrants had been on the train tracks near Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the collision occurred at around 5:30 AM, striking four people.
According to a police officer, three out of four migrants died instantly, while the other one is seriously hurt, adding that it was not clear why they were lying on the tracks.
The migrants are believed to have crossed over the border from Spain, which is around seven miles away. All the victims were Algerians aged in their twenties and thirties.
One of those who died was a 21-year-old man who had recently received an expulsion order from Spanish immigration police.
Meanwhile, the only survivor is seriously injured and is currently being taken care of in a hospital. He managed to survive with only a broken leg, police say.
“All the victims had Algerian nationality”, Jerome Bourrier, the Bayonne Regional Prosecutor said.
Bourrier added that it was a “terrible human drama”.
Meanwhile, Mayor Eneko Aldana-Douat of nearby Ciboure said on BFM TV that the area near the Spanish border is a passageway for immigrants and added that it is not unusual to see migrants in that region near the border.
“The victims are migrants who were sleeping or were lying next to the tracks,” the mayor said. “Many migrants pass through the area after they cross the border illegally from Spain and they often stay away from main roads towards Paris and Bordeaux because of police pressure”.
A police spokesman said it was unclear why the migrants were on the tracks but the San-Juan-de-Luz police station and the Bayonne judicial police opened an investigation.
Although there were initial delays, the trains resumed within three hours, France’s national rail company SNCF said.
The number of migrants in France has steadily increased in the last ten years. The latest records show the number of migrants jumped by 77,080 from 194,920 in 2009 to 272,000 in 2019, according to Statista.
It comes as tensions rose between France and the UK as Priti Patel threatened to hold back $74 million of funding for the Channel migrant operation unless Paris stepped up efforts to limit the flow of migrants to Britain.
Border Force officers have detained 1,568 migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats in just four days as the crisis continues.
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