Man dies after attempting to ‘surf’ on roof of Paris Metro train

A man died in Paris on Tuesday evening after climbing onto the roof of a moving Metro carriage. Police believe he was attempting he dangerous practice of "train surfing".

Man dies after attempting to 'surf' on roof of Paris Metro train
Photo: AFP

The fatal accident took place on Tuesday evening around 7pm as the line 6 train was leaving Bir-Hakeim Metro station near the Eiffel Tower.

The nationality of the 21-year-old is not yet known. But the incident comes ten months after a British thrill seeker died after police said he attempted to climb onto the roof of a Metro train in Paris. His friends however denied he was train surfing.

In Tuesday night’s incident witnesses said the man hit the roof of the Metro station as the train departed. He is believed to have died instantly due to the impact. His body then fell on to the tracks on the Bir-Hakeim bridge.

A British tourist who was at the station and witnessed the horrific incident told L'Express newspaper she had seen the young man climb on the Metro before lying down.

“When the train started to leave the platform, he sat and turned his back on a low bridge that was approaching,” sh said. He smiled at everyone on the platform We then heard people screaming and he hit the bridge and was thrown from the train. There was a terrible thud as he hit the metal surface. It was terrifying. “

Images posted on Twitter showed what appeared to be police forensic teams studying the tracks on the Bir-Hakeim bridge that crosses the River Seine.

Services on Line 6 were interrupted for a long period on Tuesday evening.

Police say they are trying to determine the causes of the accident, but believe the victim may have been train surfing – the dangerous and illegal practice when individuals ride across the roof of a Metro train between stations.

According to Le Parisien newspaper CCTV images showed the man arriving at the Metro station with two friends. Police are still tryng to track them down.

The bridge on line 6 over the River Seine at Bir-Hakeim appears to be a popular spot for train surfers, perhaps due to the fact it is open and offers spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower, which can then be posted on social media.

In December a group of British “free runners” angered authorities in Paris after they filmed themselves riding on the roof of a Paris Metro carriage across the Seine river in Paris.

British thrill seekers face charges for 'surfing' Paris Metro across Seine(Photo: Rikke Brewer)

A person going by the name of Rikke Brewer, who describes himself as “a new and upcoming urban crazy explorer”, shared footage of himself and others “surfing” the Paris Metro last week. 

The young men scaled a fence before leaping onto the rooftop of the carriage at the Passy station on Line 6 of the Metro, just across the river from Bir-Hakeim.

Their exploits were captured on camera and posted online.

Paris transport network chiefs RATP condemned the stunt and said it would take legal action against those behind it.

“Such behaviour is extremely dangerous, irresponsible and reprehensible,” it said in a statement. “That is why the RATP has decided to contact judicial authorities.”

In 2013 a young man was killed while trying to pull off a similar stunt. The man was struck in the head when the train entered a tunnel near Montparnasse station. 

For members


The Paris transport works that could disrupt your summer

Every year, major engineering works take place on the capital's public transport network in July and August, when Parisians flee the city for their summer holidays. Here’s the lines affected this year.

The Paris transport works that could disrupt your summer
Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP.


The most significant changes to Metro lines will take place on line 6. The line will be closed between Montparnasse-Bienvenüe and Trocadéro throughout July and August, and the Nationale station will remain closed until the end of August. Replacement bus services will be available but will add time to your journey.

The Mairie des Lilas stop will also be inaccessible from June 26th, so line 11 line will end at Porte des Lilas until August 29th.

There will also be disruption on line 14, with no trains running between Gare de Lyon and Olympiades from July 25th until August 22nd, as work takes place to extend the line to Paris Orly Airport.


Services on the RER A line will be suspended between Auber and the Université, Cergy and Poissy stations from June 26th until August 29th, every day from 9pm and all day on weekends.

From August 9th to 13th, and August 16th to 20th,  services will be suspended all day between Auber and La Défense, and no trains will be running to or from Poissy.

Frequent work is planned on RER B, which will affect journeys between the city centre and Charles de Gaulle and orly airports. There will be no services between Aulnay-sous-Bois and Charles de Gaulle 2 Airport on the weekend of June 26th-27th, or any day after 11pm from July 1st until August 27th. There will however be a replacement bus.

Services between Charles de Gaulle terminals 1 and 2 will also be suspended on July 3rd and 4th. Likewise for journeys between Gare du Nord and Charles de Gaulle 2 on August 14th and 15th.

Improvements take place during the summer, when public transport is less crowded. Photo: Aurore MESENGE / AFP.

The Luxembourg stop meanwhile will be closed throughout the whole of July. As will the Fontaine-Michalon station to the south of Paris from June 28th to July 23rd, and Denfert-Rochereau every weekend from July 24th until August 22nd.

The RER C will also see its share of engineering works, with no trains running between Pontoise and Avenue Henri Martin on weekdays after 9:30pm, from July 1st until July 13th.

There is greater disruption to come on weekends from July 15th to August 21st. Services will be suspended between Musée d’Orsay and Pontoise, Saint-Quentin en Yvelines and Versailles Château Rive Gauche, and Massy – Palaiseau and Pont de Rungis Aéroport d’Orly.


Most tramlines will be unaffected by works, but there will still be interruptions in certain areas. Notably, the stretch of the T3b line from Porte de Vincennes to Delphine Seyrig will be blocked between July 3rd and 9th.

Full details of the disruption can be found on the RATP website.