At least seven killed after tram derails in London

Tram’s driver arrested as more than 50 injured after two-carriage tram overturns

 

At least seven people were killed after a tram derailed in south London.

More than 50 people were injured, some seriously, when the crowded rush-hour tram tipped on to its side next to an underpass near the Sandilands stop in Croydon after 6.10am on Wednesday.

The tram’s driver has been arrested.

London Fire Brigade earlier said three of the five people who were still trapped had been rescued after they sent eight appliances and more than 70 firefighters to the scene in Addiscombe Road.

It is believed to be the first tram crash involving on-board fatalities since 1959, when two women passengers and the driver died after a tram caught fire in Shettlestone Road, Glasgow, following a collision with a lorry.

Accident investigators have gone to the scene to try to establish how the derailment happened.

People living nearby told of hearing a loud noise and seeing the injured being carried away on stretchers.

The tram appeared to have derailed at a point where the track branches.

Croydon resident Hannah Collier (23) said it was raining heavily at the time of the incident.

“I heard a massive crash at about 6.15am, then heard shouting, then the emergency services arrived,” she said.

“They started bringing up the casualties, some very seriously injured. People were carried away on stretchers.”

Adil Salahi, whose property overlooks the track, said the noise he heard was “sudden”.

The 76-year-old said: “It was about 6.10am or 6.15am and because I was praying. I could not move and try to check what it is. I thought it was something in the garage doors. Then I thought it was some lorry.”

‘Walking wounded’

Liam Lehane, from the London Ambulance Service, described many of those hurt as “walking wounded” but said others suffered serious injuries.

St George’s Hospital in Tooting, southwest London, is treating 20 people.

A spokesman said: “Of these 20 patients, four are seriously injured. All patients are being cared for by our clinical teams.”

Transport for London said the line is suspended between Reeves Corner and Addington Village/Harrington Road and is likely to remain closed for the rest of the day.

Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner, said: “All of our thoughts are with those who sadly lost their lives in this incident, those who were injured and the families of those affected.

“We are working closely with the emergency services on site and will continue to work with them during the investigation into what happened.”

London’s only tram network operates in the south of the capital, from Wimbledon to Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and New Addington, via Croydon.

More than 27 million passengers used the service in 2015/16.

The system uses a combination of on-street and segregated running for the 27km of track.

PA