A migrant died of electrocution on top of a train headed from Italy to France on Tuesday. Several migrants have died this way in the area between the Italian city of Ventimiglia and the French city of Menton in recent years.
The victim had reportedly been clinging to electrical power cables on the roof of the regional train, in the hope of reaching France from Italy undetected.
The driver stopped the train in the village of Latte, near the Italian border city of Ventimiglia, after an electrical system failure alarm went off, local media reported. When the driver went out to investigate, he reportedly saw a fire on the roof and called emergency services.
The victim's body was completely charred, which will make his identification complicated, sources on the ground said.
17-year-old migrant died on train last year
The man is not the only person electrocuted on top of a train, attempting to reach France undetected, in the southwestern border area between Italy and France in recent years. Several migrants have reportedly died this way, among them a young man from Bangladesh who was just 17 years old.
Only one migrant is reported to have survived such an incident: In October of last year, a young man was electrocuted when he touched the power cable on top of a train from Ventimiglia while trying to get off the cart. He was injured, but survived.
Migrant deaths at the Italian-French border
In the border area between the Italian city of Ventimiglia and the French city of Menton, both of which are located along the Mediterranean coast, several migrants have also died during other types of attempts to cross the border undetected.
Some died after falling off the Col de Mort, a rocky cliff overlooking the sea which migrants climb at night to escape French police. Others were run over by cars on the highway, or hit by trains.
In 2016, 17-year-old Eritrean migrant Milet Tesfamariam was run over by a truck in 2016 while walking through a highway tunnel. A year later, a 36-year-old Iraqi migrant was run over by a train while he was walking along the tracks.