At least seven people were killed and over 50 were injured after a tram derailed and overturned in south London on Wednesday morning, local time. The horrifying incident took place at Croydon around 6am involving a two-car vehicle and hundreds of passengers.
Image: Neil Hall/Reuters via NY Times
The 42-year-old tram driver has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter according to British Transport Police (BTP). The Mirror
reported that the driver claims to have “blacked out at the controls”. Investigators confirmed that the tram was travelling at a ”significantly higher speed than is permitted” on the bend, which has a 12mph limit. Surviving passengers also admitted that the tram had indeed been going “too fast”.
Image: Jim Bennett
Details have emerged that a similar incident took place at the same bend over a week ago. A commuter, Andy Nias, posted on his Facebook: “Tram driver took the hard corner to Sandilands at 40mph!! I swear the tram lifted on to one side.”
Survivors recalled their frightening experience, which looked like something out of an action movie. Bodies were flying off, knocking onto everyone everywhere and blood was splattered all over the scene. “Everyone just literally went flying," said Martin Bamford, 30, from Croydon, who was on the tram and recalled it “speeding up” before it derailed. “There was a woman that was on top of me... I don't think she made it at all. She wasn't responsive.”
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock of the BTP suggested that the death toll could rise further. “At least seven people have lost their lives as a result of this incident,” he said in a statement. “Our officers will continue to work tirelessly throughout the evening to formally identify them and provide care and support for their families. We expect to be at the scene for at least the next 24 hours, continuing searches and carrying out forensic examinations."