Police were called by a train driver to Loughborough Junction station near Brixton about 12:30 p.m. ET. When they arrived on the scene, they found three men believed to be in their 20s. Their bodies were between Brixton and Loughborough Junction stations, and they appeared to have been dead for a while. Ambulances arrived about 2 p.m. ET.
Spray cans were found near the men, but BBC reports that it’s unknown at this time whether they were struck by a passenger train or a freight train. Police have suggested that the accident may have happened overnight when freight trains are more frequent in the area due to reduced pedestrian traffic.
The investigation into the deaths remains ongoing. The Guardian reports that “rail industry sources” told them they believe the men were struck about 5 a.m. (10 a.m. ET) and that they may have gotten caught up in the slipstream of a passing train.
Among the items gathered for the investigation were spray cans and clothing. Police also took pictures of nearby graffiti, but it’s unknown whether or not the men were graffiti artists or were near the tracks for some other reason. Officials also stated that if the men were by the tracks when a train started heading toward them, “there wouldn’t be anywhere for them to go to avoid the train. If they’ve been caught in that section of track when a train came through then they really wouldn’t have had much options.”
The family of one victim has been informed of the tragedy. Police continue working to identify the other two men and contact their next of kin. Supt Matthew Allingham said,
“Officers have delivered the sad news to one family that we believe one of the men was their son. We are still working to identify and locate the next of kin for the other two men. If you know who they are, please let us know. Our investigation is focusing on how and why the men came to be on the tracks in the early hours of this morning.”
A well-known graffiti artist claims that the victims were popular in the graffiti community. He described the area where their bodies were found.
“It still has some of the oldest illegal graffiti in south London … a lot of names reaching back two decades. It leads into central London which increases the desirability for getting seen.”
Painting trains is seen as a big achievement among graffiti artists, but it comes with danger because of the difficulty of reaching the trains.