London tram derails: at least 50 hurt, 2 remain trapped

Tracy FergusonNov 10, 2016

Eight fire engines, five fire rescue units containing specialist rescue equipment and 22 ambulance crews were involved in the rescue operation.

The incident happened at the Sandilands stop on Addiscombe Road, just after 6am.

It has since been confirmed at least five people have died following the incident this morning.

"We can confirm an arrest has been made in connection with the Croydon incident", the spokesperson said.

This morning at around 6:10am police arrived on the scene of an overturned tram - part of Croydon Tramlink - which was headed towards Sandilands stop.

Prime Minister Theresa May said her "thoughts and prayers" were with those caught up in the "terrible incident".

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The driver was arrested after emergency services had to free several people who were trapped and took more than 50 to hospital. Local resident Hannah Collier, 23, told local media she had seen very seriously injured casualties being taken away on stretchers.

Dr Phil Moss, the clinical director of the emergency department at St George's Hospital in Tooting, south east London, said three people were undergoing surgery at the hospital. It appeared to have come off the rails on a bend.

"It certainly feels like a moment when, as the people of God, we want to stand up and say: "We recognise this as a moment that requires our solidarity with our community".

She said: "When you're sitting speaking with relatives there's a sombreness as well as the reality of another serious incident in Croydon and the fact that, for a number of families, lives will be very different as of today".

Emergency services are still working at the scene to free people trapped.

The Rail Accident Investigations Branch said the tram derailed as it was negotiating a "sharp, left-hand curve" with a speed limit of 12 miles (19 kilometres) per hour.

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A London Ambulance spokesman said 51 people had been taken to hospital, some with serious injuries. "He said "yeah". I said to him 'what happened?' He said he thinks he blacked out".

"Later I saw at least one person being brought out on a stretcher".

The tram line, which runs from Wimbledon to Beckenham Junction via Croydon and was used by more than 27 million passengers past year, is suspended between Reeves Corner and Addington and likely to remain closed for the rest of the day.

Transport expert Christian Wolmar, who is also Labour's candidate in the Richmond Park byelection, said trams generally had an excellent safety record and most accidents that did occur involved road vehicles or pedestrians.

"Trams don't make much noise so this was very unusual at this time of day". More than 27 million passengers used the service in 2015-16.

Emergency services brief reporters at the scene of the crash.

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