Italian authorities recover the body of a young migrant who was electrocuted on a French-bound train on August 29, 2021 | Photo: ANSA
Italian authorities recover the body of a young migrant who was electrocuted on a French-bound train on August 29, 2021 | Photo: ANSA

A 17-year-old migrant who was trying to reach the border with France on a train's roof in the area of Peglia, a town near Ventimiglia in Italy, was electrocuted. At least 20 migrants have died in just a few years while trying to cross the border with France.

He was 17 and came from Bangladesh. His was headed to France but he died on the roof of a French train in Italy. The incident occurred in the early afternoon of Sunday, August 29, inside a tunnel in the area of Peglia, near the border city of Ventimiglia (Imperia).

The driver stopped the train in a desperate attempt to save the teen's life after he saw him jump on the roof as soon as the train departed from the station of the border town.

When rescuers recovered the teen's body, they found a paper with his date of birth and nationality and a request to report to a police station. The 17-year-old had climbed onto a rail car and got too close to the power line, rescuers said.

'Huge dismay for this tragedy'

The youth's body was recovered by firefighters. Railway traffic with France was shut down for over an hour during the operation. The teen's body was taken to the morgue. Along with firefighters, forensic police, Polfer railway police and rescuers, Ventimiglia Mayor Gaetano Scullino rushed to the scene, expressing "huge dismay for this tragedy".

He asked Italian railway line RFI for "the stable presence of a company team to control trains arriving and departing from Ventimiglia, in collaboration with railway police."

20 ascertained deaths in the last few years

At least 20 migrants have been reported dead in just a few years as they were attempting to cross into France. One of them was a 17-year-old Eritrean, Milet Tesfamariam, who died after she was run over by a truck on October 9, 2016 inside a highway gallery just a few meters from Menton.

Exactly a month before, French authorities discovered the body of another migrant who was found dead under a viaduct of the A8 highway near the French-Italian border.

Another fatality reported in 2016, on October 22, involved a foreigner who was run over by a car as he was crossing the A8 highway in Menton.

On December 23 the same year, a 25-year-old Algerian man died when he was run over by a train in Latte, near Ventimiglia, as he was trying to reach France on foot, walking along the tracks.

Another migrant died in the same way a few days later, run over by a train as he was crossing the tracks of the railway line connecting Ventimiglia to Cannes, inside the Mortola gallery in Ventimiglia.

Thousands of migrants each year attempt to cross the border through Col de Mort, the so-called 'death pass', climbing onto rail cars or walking along tracks or the highway. Many rely on traffickers who abandon them in the moment of danger after they are paid a large sum for a trip that, too often, has no end.

 

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