Maia train-graffiti deaths: accusation “due soon”

A 3D reconstruction of the horrific deaths of three young graffiti artists has shown without a shadow of doubt what witnesses told investigators at the time.

The actions of a ticket-collector employed by Portuguese railways CP were “responsible” for the tragedy in December 2015 – despite the fact that the man “had no intention of killing” the three youths involved, reports Correio da Manhã today.

Fifteen months on, CM adds that the ticket collector received death-threats after the incident, with some people suggesting he should be “tied to the tracks and blindfolded”.

The man had to receive psychological support – as did the driver of the trains involved – and stories at the time suggested he might eventually face a charge of murder (click here).

But the reconstruction, carried out by the PJ’s scientific laboratory, has concluded there was no intention to kill, says the paper.

The graffiti artists were enjoying an evening of what is dubbed “back jumping” (see clip) – daredevil painting of carriages as they are temporarily ‘parked’ in railway stations.

It is the kind of activity that no parent of teenagers could bear to imagine, and it ended in the worst possible way in Maia after two Spanish youths and a Portuguese ‘backjump’ legend known in the graffiti world as Nord were ‘discovered’ in action by a ticket collector who threw stones at them and let off a fire extinguisher, forcing the young men backwards into the path of an oncoming train.

CM explains this case is the first in Portugal where a 3D reconstruction has been compiled, so that the facts of the tragedy can be “judged with the greatest precision”.

The case is “still being investigated”, says the paper, but a charge is likely to come “soon”.

CP has continued to say it will help as much as it can, but that it “will always be on the side of its workers”.

Two other Spanish youths escaped the fate of their friends, and fled back over the border. CM says it is unclear whether police ever caught up with them to hear their version of the tragedy.

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