Man electrocuted by train 'was not train surfing'

Last updated at 11:26 01 March 2007

A man who burst into flames on the roof of a railway carriage after he was electrocuted by high voltage power lines is not thought to have been train surfing, police said today.

The 26-year-old victim died while travelling on top of the service in Manchester, in front of terrified onlookers shortly before 8.50pm.

British Transport Police (BTP) said it was not thought the man was taking part in a prank when he was hit by the 25,000 volt shock.

The victim, who has not yet been named, is from the Burnage area of Manchester. His relatives have been informed of the death. It is thought he may have been trying to hitch a ride for free on the train but it is not believed his actions were part of a stunt.

Police are not treating the incident as suspicious. Emergency crews were called to the scene as it approached Manchester Piccadilly station.

A BTP spokesman said: "Officers from BTP were called at approximately 2050 hours on Thursday to reports of a small fire at the rear of a freight train and a small flash on the overhead lines as the freight train passed through Manchester Piccadilly station.

"A short time later a body was discovered on top of a container on board the freight train.

Fire Brigade, paramedics and officers from BTP attended and the body of a male was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Officers from BTP are investigating the circumstances surrounding this fatality.

At this stage it is not being treated as suspicious.

"Police believe that the deceased got on to the freight train as it was stationary at a signal in Levenshulme.

"As the train was approaching Piccadilly Station this male has come into contact with overhead power lines.

"BTP are still investigating the reason why the male got on to the freight train, however at this stage it is not believed to be a prank that has gone wrong."

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