Investigators report that is known that the tram which was derailed, traveled at least 3 times over their legal speed limit. Causing a horrific accident on scene, with many passengers injured and dead.
According to the RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) the tram was holding 60 passengers inside and traveled about 43.5mph in a 12mph zone. This caused a fatal accident. In the case summary, there was no issue with the track which caused this.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of having relevance to the crash, aswell as manslaughter. Then, Mr Dorris was let go on bail until May.
After the investigators found no malfunction in the trams brakes, the investigation lead to the driver simply blacked moments before this accident occurred as he told the authorities from his remembrance. It is also believed that the driver didn’t have enough sleep the night before the crash.
After analysis, it is confirmed that the driver, Alfred Dorris, who worked for First Group since 2008, was exiting a tunnel, after which he did apply brakes at the fatal turn, however the trams speed reduces from 50mph to 43.5mph. The tram was traveling 25m before stopping.
Seven people were killed in the crash, 51 were rushed to hospital and it was established that 8 suffered from injuries. These seven unfortunate people who died were: Mark Smith, Dane Chinnery, Phil Seary, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Philip Logan, Donald Collett and Robert Huxley.
The RAIB stated that all the evidence which lead to the speeding are still under investigation, also advising all tram operators to place a rule of which is to slow down when there is a bend out of a tunnel. Mike Brown, who is the commissioner of London Transport said:
“We will follow the RAIB’s advice and, before service is resumed, will implement additional temporary speed restrictions and associated signage near Sandilands to supplement existing safety arrangements.”ment additional temporary speed restrictions and associated signage near Sandilands to supplement existing safety arrangements.”
“We are continuing to carry out a thorough safety assessment and are taking the advice of an independent panel of tram experts.”
“We will only resume services for the local community once that rigorous assurance process has been completed.”
The report given, also found out the following:
- When the accident took place, it was foggy, dark stormy and raining heavily.
- CCTV in the area wasn’t working, therefore it couldn’t capture the derailing.
- The right side of the tram, which made impact with the ground was severely damaged.
- For a successful braking, the tram would’ve needed to begin braking 180m before the 12mph speed limit indicator sign.