As investigations continue, more details have now emerged regarding a serious incident which occured on the Manchester Metrolink system late on Friday 3rd July. It has now become clear that two trams were affected; one which derailed, and another which sustained damage after being attacked by people throwing stones at the tram.
An eyewitness has told the Manchester Evening News about just how terrifying this awful incident was. It would seem that the whole saga began over a man sitting at the St Werburgh’s Road tram stop was taunted by a gang of youths for having a ponytail (yes really!). After responding with verbal abuse, the male was pursued onto the next tram to arrive and some of the group then started a fight near to the front of the tram. Matters quickly escalated with another passenger getting involved, at first asking the gang to leave the tram and then becoming more involved and biting one of the group. Once the group were eventually forced off the tram, they continued to vent their aggression by pelting the vehicle with bottles and rocks, eventually succeeding in smashing windows. The emergency stop button was pressed leaving passengers lying on the floor of the vehicle.
Passengers were then transferred onto another tram after the Police arrived on the scene, some 45 minutes later, but it too became caught up in the drama when it derailed, almost certainly as a result of debris on the track. This may well have been the result of makeshift missiles being thrown at the first tram rather than a deliberate placing of objects on the track to derail a tram, although naturally this will be investigated fully by both the Police and Metrolink. Thankfully it is not thought that any severe injuries resulted from either mishap, although this is more down to luck than anything else. The group who caused the initial disruption have not been identified as yet and Police are still urging anyone who may be able to assist with their ongoing investigations to come forward, to ensure that those responsible can be punished for their disgraceful behaviour.