Seven people have now been confirmed dead with more than 50 people injured following the derailment and overturning of CR4000 2551 on Wednesday 9th November. The tram was travelling from New Addington to Wimbledon when it completely left the rails and overturned at Sandilands shortly after 0600. The driver of the tram has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
2551 was approaching Sandilands junction when it derailed, completely leaving the rails and overturning leaving the tram on its side as seen in photos shown on various news sites. The area where the tram derailed is a sharp left hand curve with a speed limit of 12mph. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch – who have been on sitefor the majority of the day – have stated in their initial report that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than permitted although will be continuing their investigation to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences.
Despite the relatively early hour over 50 people were reported to be on board the tram with initial reports of five being trapped on board the tram. More than 50 people were taken to hospital with the majority of these described as walking wounded but a number are also said to have serious or life threatening injuries. This evening has seen the British Transport Police confirm that seven people had died as a result of the derailment.
The driver of the tram – a 42 year old man from Beckenham – has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
In the light of the severity of the derailment it seems a minor point but throughout the day no services have been able to run between Reeves Corner and Addington Village/Harrington Road. At the time of writing Transport for London have said they expect this to remain the case for the rest of the day. Anyone wishing to travel by tram tomorrow should check the Transport for London website for updates.
There is no doubt that this is a dark day for the UK’s second generation tram systems with this by far the most serious incident to have been seen since the launch of Manchester Metrolink in 1992. It has been reported in several places that this is actually the first time passengers have died in a tram accident since three passed away in Glasgow in 1959.
An emergency number has been released for friends and family of those affected by the derailment on 0800 056 0154.
Our thoughts are with everyone involved in the derailment.
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