Three men in 20s pronounced dead at the scene, with one of them identified so far
Three men in their 20s have died after being hit by a train near Loughborough Junction in south London in the early hours of Monday.
Spray cans were found near where their bodies were found, according to rail industry sources.
British Transport Police (BTP) were called to the scene at about 7.30am on Monday following a report of multiple bodies being found.
Supt Matthew Allingham said three men were declared dead at the scene. “It is believed that they died earlier in the morning and that their injuries are consistent with having been hit by a train,” he said.
One of the men killed had been identified and his parents informed. Allingham said: “Officers have delivered the sad news to one family, as 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. All three men are believe to be in their 20s.”
He refused to speculate on what the men were doing on the tracks. Supt Allingham said: “Our investigation is focusing on how and why the men came to be on the tracks in the early hours of this morning. We are aware there are a number of speculative comments on social media, but it is far too early to comment at this stage about the reasons for them being there.”
According to people working in rail, the accident is thought to have occurred at about 5am, before passenger services were running in the area. They believe the victims may have been caught by the slipstream of a passing empty train on its way to a depot.
Police were alerted to the fatalities after a driver saw bodies on the tracks while operating an early morning service. Depots were being examined to identify the train involved in the incident.
Helicopter news footage showed what appeared to be forensic officers and emergency workers around two bodies on stretchers on a section of the track away from the station.
Several Thameslink trains have been cancelled. Loughborough Junction station remained open but BTP warned services would be delayed while the scene was investigated.
Det Supt Gary Richardson, from British Transport Police, said: “My team are now working hard to understand what happened and how these three people came to lose their life on the railway. My thoughts are with the family and friends of these three people.
“At this time, we are treating their death as unexplained as we make a number of immediate inquiries. I would ask anyone who was near to Loughborough Junction this morning, and saw something which they think might be relevant, please contact us as soon as possible.”
About a dozen police officers were gathered at Brixton station on Monday morning, one stop away from Loughborough Junction, walking along the tracks in the direction of the incident.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, said his office was in close contact with the police investigating the incident. “My heart goes out to the families of the three people killed at Loughborough Junction,” he said in a statement
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Network Rail is assisting the British Transport Police as they investigate an incident at Loughborough Junction this morning.” The rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road has opened a preliminary investigation.
Loughborough Junction is an elevated station managed by Thameslink and located on a line between Herne Hill and Elephant and Castle stations.