London tram crash: Vehicle was three times over speed limit

Investigators release interim report on incident in Croydon that killed seven people

Members of the emergency services work next to a tram after it overturned in Croydon, south London, Britain. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Members of the emergency services work next to a tram after it overturned in Croydon, south London, Britain. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

 

A tram which crashed in Croydon, south London, killing seven people, was travelling at three-and-a-half times the speed limit when it derailed, accident investigators have said.

An interim report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the vehicle was doing approximately 71 km/h as it entered a sharp bend with a 19 km/h limit.

The tram derailed and overturned as it approached Sandilands Junction at 6.07am on Wednesday, November 9th.

The investigation has found no evidence of track defects or a malfunction of the tram’s braking system.

The RAIB has issued “urgent safety advice” to First Group, which carries out the day-to-day operation of the trams, and Transport for London, which manages the overall performance of the network.

Both organisations were urged to take measures to reduce the risk of trams approaching the location of the crash “at an excessive speed” once the line is reopened.

This could be done with a further speed restriction before the start of the 19 km/h limit and additional warning signs, the report suggested.

Tram’s driver

The tram’s driver, Alfred Dorris (42), from Beckenham, southeast London, was arrested at the scene and was questioned on suspicion of manslaughter before being bailed until May.

A spokeswoman for First Group said he had worked at the company since March 2008.

It is understood that establishing if Mr Dorris was asleep or had blacked out at the time of the crash are lines of inquiry.

The seven people killed in the crash were Dane Chinnery (19), Philip Logan (52), Philip Seary (57), Dorota Rynkiewicz (35), and Robert Huxley (63), all from New Addington, and Mark Smith (35) and Donald Collett (62), both from Croydon.

A further 51 people were taken to hospital, with eight of them suffering injuries described by London Ambulance Service as serious or life-threatening.

PA