7 killed in London tram derailment
LONDON — Seven people were killed and more than 50 injured Wednesday when a tram derailed while rounding a tight curve in a rainstorm in south London, police said.
Investigators said the train, which tipped over on its side, apparently was going faster than permitted.
British Transport Police arrested the 42-year-old tram driver on suspicion of manslaughter.
Emergency workers labored for hours to free five people trapped in the wreckage of the two-carriage tram tipped over next to an underpass in the Croydon area.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the tram derailed as it was negotiating a sharp curve with a speed limit of 12 mph.
“Initial indications suggest that the tram was traveling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted,” it said in a statement.
Passenger Martin Bamford, 30, said the train sped up and “everyone just literally went flying.”
“There was a woman that was on top of me … I don’t think she made it at all,” Bamford said outside Croydon University Hospital, where he was treated for rib injuries. “She wasn’t responsive. There was blood everywhere.”
Bamford said the driver told him that “he thinks he blacked out.”
Liam Lehane of the London Ambulance Service described many of the people hurt as “walking wounded” but said others suffered serious injuries.
“I heard a massive crash about 6:15 a.m., then heard shouting, then the emergency services arrived,” said resident Hannah Collier, 23. “They started bringing up the casualties, some very seriously injured.”