Tram crash vic­tim named as ‘amaz­ing’ teen

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A vic­tim of the Croy­don tram crash which left seven peo­ple dead and more than 50 injured has been named as 19-year-old Dane Chin­nery.

The crash, just af­ter 6am on Wed­nes­day, saw the tram de­rail as it ne­go­ti­ated a sharp bend in the track.

The 42-year-old tram driver from Beck­en­ham, who was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of man­slaugh­ter, has been re­leased on po­lice bail. Mean­while, trib­utes have poured in for Mr Chin­nery on so­cial me­dia. One de­scribed the Crys­tal Palace fan as “an amaz­ing happy out­go­ing per­son who will al­ways be re­mem­bered”.

Another read: “Hearts been bro­ken today. Dane is the fun­ni­est boy I’ve ever met in my life. If any­one ever needed any­thing he’d be there do­ing all he can to help.”

Tom Dale, who was on the tram when it crashed, said he saw Mr Chin­nery as he boarded. “It was like walk­ing out of a war zone,” the 20-year-old chef said. Mr Dale, who was badly bruised in the crash, said of Mr Chin­nery: “He was just a friendly, genuine lad, did no harm to no­body re­ally. “No-one de­serves for this to hap­pen to them.” Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice has not yet of­fi­cially con­firmed the iden­ti­ties of the vic­tims. Of­fi­cers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims the tram was ex­ceed­ing per­mit­ted speeds and that the driver may have fallen asleep.

The Rail Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch said the tram, which had been trav­el­ling from New Ad­ding­ton to Wim­ble­don de­railed as it was ne­go­ti­at­ing a “sharp, left-hand curve” which has a speed limit of 12mph.

The RAIB said it had been trav­el­ling at a “sig­nif­i­cantly higher speed” than is al­lowed.

Po­lice ex­pect the crash site to re­main sealed off as foren­sics teams ex­am­ine the scene.

A BTP in­ves­ti­ga­tor said “a num­ber of fac­tors”, in­clud­ing whether the driver had fallen asleep or blacked out at the wheel, were be­ing ex­am­ined as pos­si­ble causes.

Lon­don Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said a to­tal of 51 injured ca­su­al­ties taken to two hos­pi­tals, with eight hav­ing se­ri­ous or life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

Lon­don Mayor Sadiq Khan, who vis­ited the crash site on Wed­nes­day, warned the num­ber of dead may in­crease

Lon­don’s only tram is part of the daily rou­tine for peo­ple trav­el­ling to work or school in this part of the city.

Trams are not fit­ted with any safety pro­tec­tion sys­tems to ap­ply brakes au­to­mat­i­cally if they are go­ing too fast, ac­cord­ing to the Of­fice of Rail and Road.

Some tram pas­sen­gers said the crashed tram failed to slow down in its usual place at a bend on the track.

Kevin Snow, 57, from Barns­ley, South York­shire, said: “Usu­ally as you come out the tun­nel you feel the brakes, but I didn’t seem to at all.

“I thought ‘he should be brak­ing in a minute’,” he said. “The next thing I knew we were on our side.

“Every­one was scream­ing and shout­ing, a lot of peo­ple were injured - lots couldn’t move.”

He said the car­riages slid for eight to 10 sec­onds be­fore com­ing to a halt.

Fel­low pas­sen­ger Martin Bam­ford, 30, from Croy­don, said “every­one just lit­er­ally went fly­ing”, adding that peo­ple were scream­ing and there was “blood every­where”.

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