Four people lying on the tracks were struck by a TER on Tuesday morning, near Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Three of them died, the fourth is seriously injured but her prognosis is no longer engaged.
It is a “terrible human drama”. Shortly before 5:00 am this Tuesday morning, four people were struck by a TER from Hendaye, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Among the victims, three died instantly and a fourth, “seriously injured”, was rushed to hospital. The man is seriously affected in the lower limbs and suffers from a fracture of the pelvis but his vital prognosis is no longer engaged this Tuesday afternoon, indicates the public prosecutor of Bayonne.
According to the first elements of the investigation, the driver of the TER – which was traveling at 92 km / h on an unlit section – saw, at the last moment, several people lying on the track.
He then “pressed the alert button for emergency braking, but this did not prevent the impact”, explains Jérôme Bourrier.
In search of the identity of the victims
An investigation into the causes of death is open and the police are trying to identify the victims, a task “complicated because this case concerns people who sought to enter the territory irregularly”, underlines the magistrate. At present, only one man could be identified “with certainty thanks to the comparison of his papillary impressions between the French and Spanish authorities”, where he was already known. It is a young man aged 21, specifies the magistrate.
“For the others, there is no certainty. Administrative documents were found at the scene of the accident but we do not yet have sufficient evidence to link them to the victims,” he explains.
While recalling that the first elements must be treated with precaution, Jérôme Bourrier specifies that “obviously, the victims would be of Algerian nationality and that three of them would have been the subject of a procedure for the irregularity of their stay in Spanish territory “.
Lying on the tracks
One of the victims was also “already known to the French police”, added the mayor of Ciboure to AFP, for whom this suggests that they had already been on French territory for some time.
“It is quite common for migrants to circulate on the tracks. What is surprising here is that they were lying down. They were probably resting because the last train passes at 10:30 pm and this was the first. , there is no traffic during the night. We can therefore think that the victims were sleeping, “said the public prosecutor, while recalling that the investigation had yet to determine the exact contours of this accident.