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
- An investigation has been opened
- Train traffic 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
There are around 830,000 Algerian immigrants living in France out of a population of 67 million, according to public research body, the French Institute for Demographic Studies.
French demographers classify as “immigrants” all people of foreign nationality born outside France.
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.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more details become available.