African Migrants Fatally Hit by French Train - Report

A train struck four people who were on the tracks early Tuesday morning, near St Jean de Luz in southwest France, a spokesperson for the country's national rail company SNCF told DW.

Three people were killed in the incident.

A fourth person was first treated on site then was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

What we know so far

  • The incident took place at around 5.30 a.m. local time (07:30 UTC)
  • The incident took place about half a kilometer (0.3 miles) from St Jean de Luz train station, in the town of Ciboure
  • The victims were struck by a regional express train traveling between Hendaye and Bordeaux
  • An investigation has been opened
  • Train services gradually resumed from 8.15 a.m.

Who were the victims?

France Bleu, a local publicly-funded broadcaster, reported that two of the victims have been identified as Algerian nationals.

It is believed that those struck were migrants, privately-owned French broadcaster RTL reported, quoting Bayonne public prosecutor Jerome Bourrier who was at the site.

The mayor of the city of Ciboure, Eneko Aldana-Douat specified that the four migrants were "sleeping or lying" on the tracks, le Parisien newspaper reported.

Algerian migrants in France

Algeria is a former French colony that gained independence in 1962. Algerian nationals make up one of the largest groups of migrants in the country.

France announced at the end of September that it is planning on sharply reducing the number of visas granted to people from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. It said that was due to their governments' refusal to take back illegal migrants expelled from France.

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