Tram crash victim named as ‘amazing’ teen
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”.