‘There must be a full investigation’: Cause of fatal Croydon tram collision still unknown but driver arrested

The cause of this morning’s fatal tram derailment that killed five and injured 51 people is still unknown.

British Transport Police arrested the tram driver this afternoon but would not say what for and the cause of the crash remains unclear.

The tram derailed at around 6am and emergency services are still at the scene trying to free two people who remain trapped almost nine hours later.

The derailment occurred as torrential rain hit London during the morning rush hour with more than 60 people on board.

This tragic incident has caused the highest number of rail passengers to be killed in a single incident since 2004.

Finn Brennan, ASLEF district organiser covering London Underground, Tubelines and Croydon Tramlink said: “The news emerging from the incident at Sandilands where a tram derailed this morning is truly dreadful.

“Lives have been lost and there are many serious injuries.

“This is a tragedy for all those involved.

“For the women and men who set out this morning on their journey to work and suffered this awful accident and for their families, the grief and pain must be terrible.

“There will be a full investigation into the causes of this incident by the RAIB and others.

“There should be no rush to judgement or to place blame until the facts are known.

“For now, our thoughts are with all those injured and lost, their families, Tramlink staff and the emergency service and NHS staff working to save lives as they do every day.”

The vehicle overturned just outside Addiscombe tunnel as it was turning the corner towards Sandilands Tram Stop in Addiscombe Road at around 6am.

A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “We continue to work alongside our partners at the scene of a major incident in Croydon.

“We were called at 6.13am this morning after a tram derailed near Sandilands tram stop.

“At present, we can confirm five people have sadly died following this incident.

“More than 50 others have been taken to hospital with injuries.

“Officers are continuing to work at the scene and Rail Accident Investigation Bureau are investigating the cause of the derailment.

“One person has been arrested in connection with the incident and is currently in police custody.”

Deputy director of operations Peter McKenna, said: “We have treated a number of patients at the scene and took 51 patients to hospital.

“20 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.”

Anyone concerned about family and friends who may have been involved in the incident can call the Casualty Bureau on 0800 056 0154.

Featured image courtesy of Alan Chang, with thanks

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