Boy, eight, killed after being pushed onto railway tracks at German station

Emergency services at the scene at Frankfurt main station

Emergency services at the scene at Frankfurt main station

An eight-year-old boy was killed after he was pushed in front of an oncoming train by a man at Frankfurt's main train station on Monday, media reports say.

An eight-year-old boy has died after being hit by a high-speed train when a man pushed him and his mother onto the tracks at around 10am today.

The chilling, apparently random attack occurred around 10 a.m. on the platform of the city of Frankfurt's busiest transit station, which was full of families, including many with children, and commuters.

A police spokesman said there appears to be no connection between the victim and suspect. "Passers-by took up the chase and the man was detained near the station". Passersby watched the attack and ran after the fleeing man, of African descent.

The man also pushed the boy's mother but she survived, police said.

The Guardian have reported that the suspect is believed to be from Eritrea, according to police. He was being held in police custody on Monday but his possible motive remained unclear.

An operation to clear the site is ongoing, with a large contingent of police and firefighters now at the railway station, one of Germany's busiest. "It was possible to arrest him while he was still in the station", police spokeswoman Isabell Neumann said.

"People collapsed howling", the eyewitness who was sitting on the train at the time told the Hessenschau. The suspect has so far refused to answer questions.

Several days ago, a 34-year-old woman was pushed on tracks in the western town of Voerde by a 28-year-old man of Kosovo Serb descent, officials said.

Passengers waiting for trains in Germany are being advised to scan the platform for distressed or troubled faces and to stand at least two metres away from the platform edge.

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