UPDATE: Death crash tram was travelling at 'significantly higher speed' than allowed
PUBLISHED: 16:59 09 November 2016
There are fears the death toll could continue to rise
Five people have died after a crowded rush-hour tram derailed and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that the toll is likely to rise even further.
Sources at the scene said eight people were feared dead after the tram tipped on its side next to an underpass near the Sandilands stop in Croydon.
London’s only tram network operates from Wimbledon to Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and New Addington, via Croydon.
It calls also calls at Birkbeck Avenue Road and Beckenham Road.
More than 50 people were injured, some seriously after the tram derailed at around 6am.
Accident investigators have reported the tram was travelling at a “significantly higher speed than is permitted”
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the tram derailed as it was negotiating a “sharp, left-hand curve” with a speed limit of 12 mph.
A spokesman said: “Initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted.”
During a visit to the scene on Wednesday Mr Khan said: “I’m afraid as a consequence of a very serious tram derailing this morning there have been a number of fatalities. I can confirm that five people have died and we think that number may well increase.”
“A number of those who are at hospital are in a serious condition.”
British Transport Police said the tram’s driver had been arrested.
A spokeswoman for London Ambulance Service confirmed eight people have serious or life-threatening injuries.
Residents in the area described hearing a loud bang and seeing the injured being carried away on stretchers in the wake of the incident, which happened shortly after 6.10am on Wednesday.
London Fire Brigade earlier sent eight appliances and more than 70 firefighters to the scene in Addiscombe Road to rescue people trapped in the two-carriage vehicle.
Mr Khan added: “We are now in the recovery stage of the operation. I pay tribute to the emergency services, particularly the fire brigade, British Transport Police and London Ambulance Service for their hard work throughout the day.”
Dr Phil Moss, the clinical director of the emergency department at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south east London, said three people are having surgery at the hospital.
He would not give any detail about the ages or injuries of any of the 20 patients who they treated from the tram incident.
Dr Moss said: “This was a very serious incident and the injuries sustained were very serious. We know there have been some fatalities at the scene today.
“The patients who have gone to the operating theatre will certainly be kept overnight if not for several days or even weeks.”
Emergency medical teams at the hospital dealt with four “majorly injured” patients and 16 walking wounded, he said.