Migrants risking their lives on freight trains to Germany

Photo credit: Federal Police/DPA

TMP – 24/10/2017

Hundreds of migrants are risking their lives by jumping onto freight trains in attempts to reach northern Europe. German police are reporting an increase in the number of migrants they have found pressed into the small gaps between goods containers and the flat-bed of train carriages, in an attempt to travel undetected by the authorities.

“A wrongly calculated move could result in them falling on the rails while the train is running at full speed. And that is not even taking into account the fact that the trains travel through the mountains where it can be very cold, even in the summer,” said a German policewoman tasked with intercepting migrants attempting such journeys, when speaking to Digital Journal.

Between July and mid-September, more than 200 people have been found hiding on German freight trains. Not everyone survives the journey.
In early June, German police discovered the body of a young migrant on the rail tracks near the Austrian border. They believe the young man had fallen to his death from the freight train he had been hiding on.

German police have since increased their presence in the Raubling area near the Austrian border where the body was found. Some 30 police officers conduct frequent random checks on the freight trains to detect migrants in hiding.

“A few days ago, I was on the platform when the police took two migrants from their hiding places in the train,” said Kauer Zimmerman, a Raubling resident. “I was shocked by the condition they were in – they were covered in big jackets but still shivering.”