Three people were killed today after being hit by a train in south London.
Police were called to Loughborough Junction station, near Brixton, shortly after 7.30am after reports of “multiple bodies” being found on the track.
The victims are understood to have been killed in the early hours, with their bodies only being discovered during rush hour.
They are all said to be men in their 20s. One theory is that they were graffiti artists and the driver of the train did not spot them.
A source said spray cans were found near the site where the three men died.
Rail industry sources said the paint was found nearby and the three people may have been killed overnight, when freight trains operate.
Officers were seen taking photographs of graffiti as part of their enquiries.
Detective Superintendent 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 enquiries.
“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.”
Officials are working to identify the victims and alert their families.
Their bodies were spotted a few hundred metres from Brixton overground station, with paramedics finally being called just before 9am.
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We sent a number of ambulance crews but sadly three people were found dead at the scene.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan added: “My heart goes out to the families of the three people killed at Loughborough Junction station this morning. If you have any information about this incident please contact BTP.”
Loughborough Junction station is between Herne Hill and Elephant and Castle and is served by Thameslink. The platforms and tracks are above ground level on a viaduct.
The bodies are understood to have been discovered on the Catford Loop railway line, some metres from the station.
Train services were delayed as a result of the incident, with customers asked to check with National Rail Enquiries before travelling.
Images from the scene showed emergency services working to remove three bodies,
A dog handler Jason, 44, who was working security on a building site next to the train track overnight, said he saw police climbing a ladder onto the tracks.
He told the Standard: “There were so many cop cars whizzing by with sirens on you could tell it was serious.
“We thought only one person had died, three is just horrible.
“I could see officers climbing on to the track to get to them with train staff.
“The trains were still running but going so slowly.
My heart goes out to the families of the three people killed at Loughborough Junction station this morning.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 18, 2018
City Hall is in close contact with the @BTP who are urgently investigating this incident. pic.twitter.com/YRKjn57uCT
“We chase off kids doing graffiti by the track all the time. I hope it’s nothing to do with that, that would be awful.”
A witness said: “There were loads of vans and paramedics everywhere.“
British Transport police detectives were at the scene and said they would be dealing with the case “from start to finish”.
Freight trains carry out a lot of the infrastructure work on Britain’s railways, usually overnight when the passenger pathways are clear.
According to Network Rail, of the fatalities on the railway in 2016/17, six occurred on a level crossing, 28 involved people trespassing on the railway and 237 were suicide or suspected suicide.
Anyone with information about the deaths was asked to contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40.
Additional reporting by Hatty Collier and Sophie Williams