London tram derailment leaves five dead

Police confirm death toll in South London tram crash while emergency services continue to work at the scene to free people trapped.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Members of the emergency services work next to the tram that overturned in Croydon, South London.

Five people have died and more than 50 were injured after a tram overturned at the Sandilands tram stop in Croydon, South London.

A spokesperson for British Transport Police said that the driver of the tram has been arrested. However, there is no further information on his arrest.

Earlier this morning, Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith from the British Transport Police could not specify the number of fatalities, only stating that "a number of people have been taken to hospital with injuries and sadly we can say there has been some loss of life".

"It is too early for us to confirm numbers but we are working hard to assess the ongoing incident and are continuing to focus on recovery efforts," he added.

A London Ambulance spokesman said 51 people had been taken to hospital, some with serious injuries. Eight fire engines, five specialist rescue units and more than 70 firefighters attended the scene. Crews used heavy cutting equipment to free two people who were trapped.

Local residents said they had heard a crash followed by shouting. "They started bringing up the casualties, some very seriously injured. People were carried away on stretchers," Hannah Collier, 23, told Sky News.

Television pictures showed the tram lying on its side across the tracks near a junction where the line divides. Investigations into the cause of the accident are continuing.

Transport for London tweeted that it had suspended tram services between Reeves Corner and Addington Village / Harrington Road.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies