Refugee electrocuted while attempting to climb on Eurostar train heading for UK

Man hit by bolt of electricity at Paris’s Gare du Nord station

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 02 May 2017 12:02 BST
Latest death comes after migrants killed in Channel Tunnel and attempting to board trains in Calais
Latest death comes after migrants killed in Channel Tunnel and attempting to board trains in Calais (Getty)

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A refugee has been electrocuted while attempting to climb on the roof of a Eurostar train heading for the UK.

The unidentified man was killed at Paris’s Gare du Nord, the busiest railway station in Europe, after being hit by a bolt of electricity from overhead power lines.

Investigators said he was caught on CCTV climbing safety fences to reach international lines at around 5am local time (4am BST) on Tuesday, but was killed “within seconds” on the roof of a parked train bound for London.

A source told Le Parisien identification would be “tough”, as the “victim’s burns made them unrecognisable”.

Power to railway lines had to be cut while emergency services recovered the man’s body, causing disruption to Eurostar and national services in France.

“There was an incident this morning at the Gare du Nord that affected some of our services,” a spokesperson for Eurostar said.

“They are now getting back to normal.”

It is the second time an asylum seeker has been electrocuted at the Gare du Nord, after an Egyptian teenager attempting to reach Britain died in July 2015.

An unknown number of migrants have also been suffocated, run over, hit by trains and drowned in desperate attempts to swim to England.

Disruption and deaths in the summer of 2015 caused Eurostar to deploy drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras to monitor the Channel Tunnel, while the British Government funded a multi-million pound wall separating Calais’s main motorway from refugee camps.

The “Jungle” was cleared by police last year, with the French government vowing to resettle evicted asylum seekers, but many have returned to the northern coast.

Thousands more are spread throughout the country after crossing to Europe by sea, including many sleeping rough in Paris, where police have been accused of violent crackdowns on homeless migrants.

The British Government has largely refused to resettle refugees who have already reached Europe, and dropped a commitment to house vulnerable children before freeing up 130 places following an “administrative error”.

Despite efforts to slow the flow of boats arriving from Turkey to Greek islands, the number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean to Italy is increasing.

A record of almost 1,100 men, women and children have died attempting sea journeys to Europe so far this year, while 44,000 have arrived mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Iraq.

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