At Least seven Dead In Croydon Tram Carnage: Driver Arrested After Two Carriages Careered Off The Tracks And Overturned Leaving 50 Injured

November 9, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

At least seven people died in the Croydon tram crash this morning, police confirmed.

The tram which flipped on its side will be removed tomorrow at the earliest, British Transport Police said.

And a 42-year-old man from Beckenham has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and is currently in police custody.

Police and fire services were at the scene in Croydon, south London, where the serious incident took place shortly after 6.10am.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 6.13am to an incident at Addiscombe Road in Croydon.

“We have had a number of resources at the scene, including ambulance crews, advance paramedics and single responders in cars.

“We have treated a number of patients, currently 56 have been taken to hospital.

“We are still treating one patient at the scene.”

Adil Salahi was praying when he heard the accident.

The scene in Croydon where a tram has derailed

The scene in Croydon where a tram has derailed

The grandfather-of-two did not realise the seriousness of the incident until he went to his bedroom window around two hours later.

The-76-year-old said: “I was praying at around 6.10am when I heard a loud crash.

“It sounded like a lorry had smashed into my garage, it was so loud.

“But because I was praying I did not know what had happened.

“It was not until I heard it on the news at around 8am that I went to my window and could see the tram.

“Trams don’t make much noise so this was very unusual at this time of day.

“It’s quite shocking to see, it’s not something you see out your window very often.

“I think if it had happened later in the day it could have been even worse as the tram would have been even busier.

“It looks like it happened on the bend where they go quite quickly.”

Another witness said: “We were able to briefly see the tram on its side before police asked us to move back.

“All we could see from where we were was the underside of the carriage from the top of the bridge where we were standing.

“As we looked down on the tram it was on its right hand side.

“There are dozens of members of the emergency services here and more police are still arriving at the scene.

“It looks really bad but obviously we can’t tell the full scale of the situation.”

Ambulance, police cars, rapid response vehicles and fire engines continued to arrive at the scene up to five hours after the accident at 6.04am as a helicopter flies over head.swns_croydon_tram_05Roads leading to Sandilands stop in Croydon, south London, are closed meaning cars and buses are unable to go east towards Addiscombe.

The huge rescue operation has seen sirens constantly ringing out across Croydon and the emergency services come and go.

Andrew Roe deputy assistant at the London Fire Brigade said: “Crews used cutting equipment and lifting gear during this complex and heavy recovery operation.

“We will be working with the independent investigation branch to focus on the recovery phase of this operation.”

The tram was left on its side with rain pouring down as the casualties were pulled from the vehicle.

London Air Ambulance sent five doctors and four paramedic rapid response vehicles to the scene.

One of the people injured in the fatal Croydon tram crash has been discharged from hospital suffering from shock.

Rui De-sa, 31, was one of the walking wounded who was taken to St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, south London, after a tram derailed this morning.

The Portuguese national, who lives in Croydon, was too shook up to speak as he headed home after receiving hospital treatment.

Wife Susana Gaiao, 35, said: “I don’t think he’s up for talking, he’s too shook up.

“It was my husband who called me to tell me as soon as the accident happened, he was in so much shock.

“He was okay but obviously some people were seriously injured.

“He could see one person trapped and heard a lot of cries and screaming.

“He was one of the few who were taken to St George’s Hospital – where all the people with minor injuries went.”

A total of 20 patients were taken to St George’s and 31 were rushed to Croydon University Hospital, where Susana says those with major injuries were treated.

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She said: “We all had to wait in the relatives room where all the police were, trying to reassure us.

“My husband was just on his way to work, he gets the same tram every morning, he’s a creature of habit like that.”

Peter McKenna, Deputy Director of Operations at London Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 6.13am to reports of a tram derailment at Addiscombe Road in Croydon.

“We sent 22 ambulance crews, 12 officers, and two advanced paramedic practitioners to the scene, alongside our hazardous area response team, who are trained to provide emergency medical care in hazardous areas such as confined spaces or where there may be hazardous materials.

“Two trauma teams from London’s Air Ambulance and a command support vehicle were also dispatched.

“We have treated a number of patients at the scene and took 51 patients to hospital.

“Twenty were taken to St George’s University Hospital and 31 to Croydon University Hospital.

“We remain on scene, supporting our emergency service colleagues as they deal with this incident.”

British Transport Police confirmed the driver of the derailed tram was arrested.

Relatives of those injured in the Croydon tram crash still await updates on their loved ones, as hospitals deal with dozens of injured passengers.

A total of 20 patients were taken to St George’s Hospital, in Tooting, south London, and 31 were rushed to Croydon University Hospital, known as ‘Mayday.’

Worried mum Jane Harris has been trying to call Mayday repeatedly since the crash.

She wrote on Facebook: “They are not giving any information out for about an hour, my son was on that tram and they won’t even say if he is there.

“I phoned the hospital again because I’ve been waiting over an hour for them to call me.

“They said the police there will call people to let them know if they are there.”

Another mum was at the scene, at Sandilands tram station, as soon as she heard about the crash.

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Keeley Mccausland said: “My son was on the tram and I was at the scene.

“He is okay physically – he has a head injury which was dealt with quite promptly at the scene, then glued at hospital, but it was quite a traumatic experience.

“I’m giving him some TLC at the moment. It’s so sad for those worse effected.

“My heart goes out to everyone, services included.

“I was at the scene probably 15 minutes after and the services including police, fire and ambulance where doing a fantastic job.

“We sometimes forget they are human and people seem to think they can desensitise to such occasions, but it may be a first for some of these people to deal with such a large emergency and it’s a shock for them too. But hats off for their response.”

Lesley Purnell, from Croydon, tried to get through at St George’s Hospital to find out the condition her injured husband was in.

She said: “My husband was on there I have tried St George’s and they cant give any information.

“Everybody has been given a number who was involved in the incident, I pray everybody including my husband is okay.

She later added: “I finally managed to get through to a nurse and she brought my husband to the phone.

“He is badly concussed and in shock, but he is okay.

“I never cried so much when I heard his voice – I am devastated for all those involved and have lost there lives.”

A man who was on the tram when it overturned at around 6.04am said the vehicle seemed to speed up while the driver appeared to be asleep.

Martin Harris, who was on his way to work, called his mum Jane after the crash to tell her a dead body was lying on top of him.

He is now in hospital with neck, back and head injuries.

Jane Harris said: “My son was on the tram I had spoke to him for a few seconds and he said that the tram driver was going really fast it looked like the driver had fallen asleep, the next thing he new the tram had derailed and gone over.”

Terrified Jane had an anxious wait to find out where her son had been taken.

She is going to to visit Martin later today and expects him to be kept in hospital for treatment.

Jane added: “He was on the tram, the tram was going really fast, the tram went over, my son had a dead body on him.

“He was taken to hospital with four broken ribs, damaged back and neck, and a bad head.

“I phoned the hospital to see if he was there gave my number and they said someone would call me back in a hour, nobody did, so I called back again and got told that a police officer would call back to let me know if he was there.

“My other son was waiting for about thee-and-a half hours just for them to say he was in hospital.

“Martin has to stay in hospital for tests.”

swns_croydon_tram_57

 

It is the worst rail disaster since the Ufton Nervet rail crash, on November 6, 2004.

Seven people, including the drivers of the train and car, were killed and 71 were injured when a London to Plymouth service collided when motorist Brian Drysdale committed suicide by parking on a level crossing.

The moment after a tram hit a bend too fast was “carnage” and like “something out of a film” as it toppled over, a passenger said.

Martin Bamford, a 30-year-old gutter cleaner from New Addington, south east London, was on his way to work when the tram “flipped”.

After he and other walking wounded got out of the tram he claims the driver said: “I think I blacked out”.

Dad of four Martin said: “When we were coming through the tunnel we were going at some speed and the tram was speeding up more and more.

“We were coming out of the tunnel and we hit the bend way too fast and the tram flipped.

“It was extremely frightening, people were screaming and shouting for help.

“The tram was full mainly of people going to work.

“There was a girl who was on top of me and she did not look very much alive at all.

“She was bleeding all over the place and I don’t think she made it.

“People had broken legs and head injuries.

“When it flipped everything went flying, people were on top of me.

“There was blood everywhere and belongings and shoes.

“It was absolute carnage.

“I just can’t seem to get it out of my head, it just keeps going over and over again.

“I looked around and there was just blood everywhere I was shouting through to the driver to ask him if he was okay.

“He was laying on his side and I asked him if he was ok. I think he was in his mid 30s or 40s.

“There was another woman next to me who I think was okay, I pulled the emergency door handle but it didn’t work, the doors wouldn’t open.

“I was shouting at the driver to open the doors.

“When we got out I asked the driver if he was okay and what happened and he just said to me ‘I think I blacked out’.

“I went back in to help other people and we were all standing about in the rain for a bit before the police put us on a bus.

“It was like something out of a movie, you just wouldn’t expect it.

“I was trying to help as many people as possible and I was shouting to people that could walk that they should come through the open door.”

He added if the driver blacked out he may have had his arm on the lever to make the tram go faster.

“It was manic at the A&E when we got here but there are people a lot worse off than me.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Board are collecting evidence from the scene in Sandilands, south east London.

They said the tram was approaching a “sharp” bend which usually should be met at 12mph when it derailed.

A spokesperson said: “RAIB is investigating a fatal accident that occurred near to Sandilands Junction on the London Tramlink system.

“At around 06:10 hrs on Wednesday 9 November 2016, a tram derailed on the approach to the junction, and turned onto its side.

“The accident resulted in a number of fatalities and serious injuries (confirmed numbers will be included as an update in due course).

“The tram was operating an ‘inbound’ service from New Addington to Wimbledon via Croydon town centre.

“Sandilands Junction is the point where inbound trams from the Beckenham Junction/Elmers End and New Addington routes converge, shortly before they arrive at Sandilands tram stop (to the east of Croydon town centre).

“Trams approaching from the New Addington direction have to negotiate a sharp, left-hand curve with a speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) before reaching the junction.

“The derailment occurred on the curve and initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted.

“We are currently collecting evidence needed to identify factors relevant to the cause of the accident and its consequences.”

At least seven people died in the Croydon tram crash this morning, police confirmed.

The tram which flipped on its side will be removed tomorrow at the earliest, British Transport Police said.

And a 42-year-old man from Beckenham has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and is currently in police custody.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock said: “This is a tragic incident and our hearts and thoughts go out to all those affected.

“When officers arrived on scene this morning shortly after 6am, they were met with a complex and challenging situation.

“Together with our partners from the other emergency services and with support from London resilience agencies, they have worked through the day, and will continue to work throughout the night, at the scene.

“After liaison with the Coroner, we can confirm that at least seven people have lost their lives as a result of this incident.

“Our officers will continue to work tirelessly throughout the evening to formally identify them and provide care and support for their families.

“Identifying those who have died can be a complex and lengthy process and we want to ensure we get this right.

“We expect to be at the scene for at least the next 24 hours, continuing searches and carrying out forensic examinations in support of the investigation into the circumstances, and in order to provide a report for the Coroner.

“Tomorrow, we will assess how and when it is appropriate to recover the tram and remove it from the tracks.

“I want to thank everyone who assisted at the scene, and behind the scenes, in Croydon today.

“In the coming days, we will continue to work alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to establish the circumstances of how this happened.

“At this stage it is too early to speculate on a single factor being the cause of this incident.”

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