Tram driver in Croydon accident released on bail as investigations continue

Caitlin Morrison
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The accident took place in Croydon early on Wednesday morning (Source: Getty)

A 42-year-old man arrested in connection with a tragic tram accident in Croydon yesterday has been released on bail, British Transport Police confirmed today.

The man from Beckenham, who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, has been bailed until May while investigations continue at the scene and officers work to establish the circumstances of the incident.

Seven people were killed and dozens of others were hospitalised due to their injuries after a tram derailed and overturned near the Sandilands stop in south London yesterday morning.

The first victim was named today as Dane Chinnery, a 19-year-old from New Addington.

“Today the whole of Croydon is in mourning as we try to come to terms with the single biggest tragedy in our community in living memory," said Steve O'Connell, London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton.

“Having visited the scene of the crash yesterday, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to the emergency services for the work they carried out under what must have been harrowingly difficult circumstances."

He added: “As the names of the victims begin to emerge, it is so important that our community comes together and supports the friends, families and loved ones of all those affected.

“In time I will be doing all I can to ensure this incident is fully investigated and that we rightly get answers over how this appalling tragedy unfolded.”

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said the accident may have been caused by speeding: "Trams approaching from the New Addington direction have to negotiate a sharp, left-hand curve with a speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) before reaching the junction.

"The derailment occurred on the curve and initial indications suggest that the tram was travelling at a significantly higher speed than is permitted."

Transport minister Mike Brown said: "Clearly something has gone catastrophically wrong and we will work tirelessly and quickly with the emergency services, the tram operator First Group and others to establish the cause. My team will continue to be available in Croydon to assist those affected and the wider community in the area."

Meanwhile, tram services in the area near Sandilands have been suspended today.

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