On the 9th November 2016, in the early hours of the morning a tram derailed in the dark and heavy rain. The tram was running a service from New Addington to Wimbledon and was on the approach to Sandilands tram stop soon after 6am when the incident occured. The tram derailed and overturned on a sharp bend approaching the junction.
The Metropolitan Police Service deployed a ResponStor® temporary body storage system to the scene to provide dignity and safe storage of any casualties. The body store was moved to the scene using a railway dolly and assembled under a shelter. The unique ability of the system enabled decedents to be stored privately whilst providing refrigeration so that bodies could be identified successfully.
Nutwell's scoops (body trays) were used for decedent extrication from the tram. The unique ability our trays have of being able to twist and bend under pressure whilst maintaining strength enabled users to extricate victims with ease. The traditional rigid scoops proved too cumbersome and wide.
Twenty two ambulances, eight fire engines and over 70 firefighters were sent to the scene. The injured were taken to St George's Hospitoal, Tooting, and to Croydon Hospital. Both hospitals operate with our systems.
Out of a total of 69 passengers, there were seven fatalities and 62 injured, 19 of those sustained serious injuries. This was also, very sadly, the first tram incident in the United Kingdom in which passengers had died since 1959. We would like to pay our respects to those who suffered from this incident.
Since the tragedy occured, an additional sign and chevrons have been installed in the location to give drivers a better warning of the curve. It is understood that the original sign was not visible until is was too late for drivers to brake to meet the required speed. The chevrons have also been installed in three other areas on the Croydon tramline. In January 2019, further safety measures were announced, that all trams would be fitted with a system that would automatically apply the brakes should the trams exceed speed limits.
For out more information on our temporary body storage sytems used in the response here.