Three men were killed by a freight train in south-west London, while they were trying to create graffiti in the area. The victims were identified as Jack Gilbert, 23, Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, and Alberto Fresneda Carrasco, 19, whom were presumably painting graffiti because spray cans were found close to their bodies.
The incident happened between Brixton and Loughborough stations, and the British Transport Police were not clear about the time that it happened, but they believe it might have been around 5 am before the passenger services were running.
A local artist said that the section where the accident occurred is very popular for graffiti, it has some of the oldest illegal graffiti in the city and it also has several pieces from artists who have passed away. In addition, it is very popular because the train tracks lead into central London so, it is easier to be seen.
There were tributes to the three young artists including an Instagram page called ‘ukfrontline’ where graffiti artists from the UK expose their artwork. There were messages under their tags off Kbag, Lover and Trip, including ‘RIP so young man too soon’ or ‘Rest in Paint’. At the station there were three spray cans with flowers with the message ‘RIP’ and three love hearts.
The families of the three young men were devastated and commented on the small relief they had after finding out that they died doing what they enjoyed the most, painting.
The last incident similar to this happened in 2007 when two men, Bradley “Ozone” Chapman, 21, and Daniel “Wants” Elgar, 19, were hit by a District line train while they were trying to escape from police who had spotted them painting trains illegally in east London.
Artists gain respect by painting on places that are incredibly difficult to reach but highly visible, which means that graffiti can be a dangerous activity. Many graffiti artists end up risking their safety, especially when they target trains or the tracks. That is one of the reasons why graffiti can be considered illegal because it can cause incidences. It becomes crucial to have the pertinent graffiti removal works on a timely fashion to avoid more taggers that would put their lives at risk.