Croydon Town Hall flag flown at half-mast to mark four years since tram crash

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

The flag at Croydon Town Hall was flown at half-mast yesterday to mark four years since seven people lost their lives in the tram crash at Sandilands Junction.

On the morning of November 9, 2016 a tram came off the tracks, killing

Dane Chinnery, 19, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, Mark Smith, 35, Philip Logan, 52, Philip Seary, 57, Donald Collett, 62, and Robert Huxley, 63. Sixty others were injured.

Usually the community would gather at the memorial in New Addington, but the coronavirus lockdown meant that instead there was a short ceremony outside the town hall where there was a moment of silence and the borough flag was flown at half-mast.

The mayor of Croydon, Councillor Maddie Henson, also visited the New Addington memorial to lay flowers.

Leader of the council, Cllr Hamida Ali, said: “The Sandilands tram derailment devastated many people across our borough and shocked the country, and our thoughts remain with those who lost their lives and everyone still affected by this tragedy.”

And over at the chapel at Croydon University Hospital, Reverend Andy Dovey lit a candle in memory of those who died, and led a minute’s silence which was broadcast by the hospital trust.

He was the chaplain on duty at Croydon Health Services on the tragic day.

Rev Dovey said: “Not that long ago we were giving care to those who had received injuries in the tram crash, and for grieving parents that were here waiting for news.

“Today we light the candle in remembrance of that day, for the lives lost, the pain and suffering for those left behind, and to celebrate and give thanks for the work of the emergency services who did the best that they could in such tragic circumstances.”

Last week it was announced that an inquest into the deaths of the seven victims of the tram crash will be postponed until spring 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pictured top: There was a short civic ceremony outside Croydon Town Hall to remember the victims of the tram crash (Picture: Croydon council)


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