Three migrants were killed and one seriously injured after they were hit by a train in southern France on Tuesday.
Local prosecutor Jerome Bourrier said the four were believed to be lying on tracks near the station in the seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz when they were passing by the first train of the day at around 0300 GMT.
He said the train’s emergency brakes would not be enough for drivers to escape the four people, who he said were Algerian citizens aged between 21 and 40.
Borrier said the fourth victim was no longer in critical condition and had to be operated upon.
The men are believed to have spent some time in Spain before moving to France, with Bourrier saying that one had been expelled by the Spanish authorities.
“It is clear that all the victims are of Algerian origin, and three of them were subject to procedures in Spain for the irregularity of their appearance,” Bourrier said.
Local mayor Enneco Aldana-Douat told AFP that police already knew one of the victims, suggesting they had been in French territory for some time.
Spain is one of Europe’s main gateways for expatriates, with 16,586 irregular entries in the first seven months of the year, according to figures published in August by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.
This figure was 50 percent higher than the same period last year.
In August, a migrant was killed trying to cross the Bidasoa River that separates Spain and France.
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