RAIB release report into Metrolink pedestrian fatality

Nearly a year after the event the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) have released their report into an incident which occurred on Manchester Metrolink on 5th June 2011. A pedestrian was hit and fatality injured at Piccadilly Gardens at 0016 on this date having run into the path of a tram. As usual the RAIB have given the causes for the accident and have also given a couple of recommendations.

Tram 1002 was approaching Piccadilly Gardens tramstop from the direction of Market Street at approximately 9mph when a pedestrian ran into its path. The pedestrian did seem to become aware of the tram and attempted to stop but in doing so they fell in front of the tram and were hit suffering fatal injuries.

The investigation found that the accident happened because:

  • The pedestrian stumbled and fell directly in front of the tram
  • The pedestrian was running from a covered passage and did not observe and react to the approaching tram until it was too late to stop clear of it

In addition there were some factors which exacerbated the event:

  • The pedestrian’s stumbling position when the initial collision occurred
  • The ground clearance and rake angle of the device that projects down from the underside of the tram and is designed to prevent pedestrians from being crushed under the wheels

As a result of the accident the RAIB have made two recommendations in general to UK tram operators:

  • There should be improvements in the collection of pedestrian injury data in order to better understand the role of the tram front end design in minimising injury
  • There should be research into the design of tram front ends and their potential for injuring pedestrians in collisions

The full RAIB report into this incident can be found on their website at http://www.raib.gov.uk/publications/investigation_reports/reports_2012/report082012.cfm

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