Street art community pays tribute to three graffiti artists killed by a train in London – Art Newspaperby August 23, 2022
Police search rail tracks following a rail incident in south London on 18 June. British Transport Police (BTP) report that three bodies had been found on the tracks at Loughborough Junction Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9719407b)
Three graffiti artists who were killed by a freight train on the tracks in south London in the early hours of Monday have been identified by the street art community as Kbag, Lover and Trip.
The bodies of the young men, believed to be in their teens and early 20s, were found by British Transport Police shortly after 7.30am on 18 June. Spray cans were discovered close by and officers were seen photographing graffiti as part of their inquiries, prompting speculation that the young men were artists. Superintendent Matthew Allingham said it was too early to comment. The men have not yet been formally identified, but their families have been informed.
A local graffiti artist who preferred to remain anonymous said the section of railway was known for being particularly dangerous, with the “tracks active 24/7”. However, because of its high visibility the track is a graffiti hotspot, with some pieces dating back 20 years.
The deaths have been met with shock and disbelief from the street art community. Tributes were paid to the victims on the graffiti magazine Frontline’s Instagram page. “An awful thing to happen, my condolences go out to anyone who knew them and to their families. A cold reminder of just how dangerous it is out there. Stay safe people,” wrote one commentator.
Others took the opportunity to remember the deaths of 21 year-old Bradley “Ozone” Chapman and 19 year-old Daniel “Wants” Elgar, who were struck by a District line train while running away from police in 2007.
Allingham said the three men were declared dead at the scene. “The focus is on supporting the bereaved families at this difficult time,” he said.
London mayor Sadiq Khan sent his condolences, saying: “My heart goes out to the families of the three people killed at Loughborough Junction station. City Hall is in close contact with the British Transport Police, who are urgently investigating this incident.”