Investigators are still trying to establish the causes of this week’s tram derailment in Croydon to the south of London, which killed 7 people and injured more than 50 others. Trams are generally a very safe form of transport but this accident has led to calls for improved safety measures such as automatic braking systems of the kind used on trains.
Probably the deadliest tram accident in history happened on the foggy morning of 12 July 1930 in Buenos Aires. Service 105 was on its way from the city of Lanus, south of Buenos Aires, to the Constitución station in the Argentinian capital. The driver had been with the tram company for only about two months.
On its journey the vehicle had to cross a bridge over the Riachuelo river. As it approached, the bridge had been lifted to allow a vessel to pass beneath, but the driver did not see the red light warning him not to proceed.
By the time the driver realised the bridge was up, it was too late. He tried to apply the brake, but the tram plunged into the water. The driver was one of the 56 people who lost their lives. Only 7 survived.