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Croydon tram crash survivors move to sue TfL and FirstGroup

Survivors of the Croydon tram crash are suing Transport for London (TfL) and FirstGroup for compensation over the trauma they suffered in the disaster.

The incident on 9 November this year saw a speeding tram derail on a bend near Sandilands station in Croydon, south London, which killed seven people and injured 51. The driver was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and has been bailed until May.

Several passengers who survived the crash have now instructed injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell to investigate who was responsible and demand compensation from TfL and FirstGroup, which operates the service on behalf of TfL.

“People died that day and while I, and others like me, know how lucky we are to have survived, we have the same questions as the families of those who died,” said one survivor of the accident, Matthew Hewish, who sustained hip and ankle injuries in the crash as he was travelling to work.

“We want to know what happened. We want to know what could have been done, if anything, to stop it and – most importantly – we need to stop it ever happening again.”

The RAIB’s interim report into the investigation found that the tram was travelling at over three times the maximum permitted speed of 20km/h when it entered the curve on which it derailed. The tram landed on its side and travelled 25 metres before stopping. The organisation ruled out defects in the track or a malfunction with the tram’s braking system as reasons for the crash.

Since the accident, TfL has introduced additional operational signs regarding speed restrictions before the bend, upon RAIB’s recommendation.

Glen Edney, an injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “It is vital that we get answers for the victims and that they have access to any treatment and rehabilitation they need for their injuries and to help them overcome the trauma of the crash.

“We are now helping to investigate exactly what went wrong to provide answers to the families as to what caused the crash and so that lessons can be learned from the incident to improve tram safety in future.”

Irwin Mitchell has previously represented people injured in other train crashes at the turn of the century in Hatfield, Ladbroke Grove and Selby. First Group and TfL have not yet commented on the survivors’ decision to take legal action.

(Image c. Steve Parsons from PA Wire and PA Images)

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Andrew Gwilt   14/12/2016 at 00:24

Good. About time.

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