Man dies after climbing on top of Eurostar train in Paris

The man was likely hit by an electric arc as he hid on top of the train (above, in a file photo).
The man was likely hit by an electric arc as he hid on top of the train (above, in a file photo).PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - A man believed to be a migrant was electrocuted and died at a Paris railway station on Tuesday (May 2) after climbing on top of a high-speed Eurostar train due to leave for London, disrupting rail services from the busy terminal, officials said.

The man "probably hid" on the Eurostar train at Paris Gare du Nord and was touched by an electric arc, killing him, a police source said.

Police believe the man was probably a migrant trying to reach Britain, the source said.

Le Parisien newspaper said the man had been burned beyond recognition and it would be hard to identify him.

The incident happened at about 5am (11am Singapore time) and led to a power cut that caused congestion at the busy Paris station, a spokesman for SNCF French railways said.

A Eurostar spokeswoman said a few of its departures were briefly delayed early on Tuesday morning but normal service had been quickly restored.

In a similar incident in July 2015, a man thought to be a migrant was electrocuted and seriously hurt when he touched a live overhead wire while trying to jump on board a Eurostar train being prepared for departure from Paris to London.

Thousands of migrants fleeing war, upheaval and poverty in the Middle East and Africa for years camped in shanties around the French port of Calais, hoping to cross the Channel in search of a better life in Britain.

Migrants repeatedly tried to board trucks and trains travelling to Britain or to enter the Channel Tunnel itself. In October last year, French authorities finished clearing the"Jungle", a shanty town outside Calais, dispersing migrants around France.

Around 400 migrants are still living in the Calais area according to humanitarian groups.