LONDON – A tram that crashed in south London a week ago, killing seven people, was traveling at more than three times the speed limit at the time, investigators said Wednesday.
The tram’s data recorder showed it was moving at 43.5 miles per hour as it entered a curve in the track where the speed limit was 12.5 miles per hour, a preliminary report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said.
After the tram derailed on November 9, it skidded along on its right side for about 25 metres (27 yards) before coming to a halt, it said. The right side of the tram was “severely damaged” where it was in contact with the ground.
Besides the seven passengers who lost their lives, 51 people needed hospital treatment after the crash, with eight of them suffering injuries described by the London Ambulance Service as serious or life-threatening.
The RAIB report said about 60 people were believed to have been on the tram.
The tram’s driver, a 42-year-old man, was released on police bail Thursday after being arrested following the crash on suspicion of manslaughter. He has not been named by the British Transport Police.
He was the only member of staff on board the tram, which crashed soon after 6 a.m. on a dark and rainy morning.