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Croydon falls silent to mark first anniversary of Sandilands tram derailment

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Croydon fell silent this morning as the community came together to mark the first anniversary of the Sandilands tram derailment.

More than 50 people were injured and seven people – Dane Chinnery, Donald Collett, Robert Huxley, Philip Logan, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Philip Seary and Mark Smith – sadly lost their lives in the incident.

Today, hundreds of people attended a civic ceremony on Central Parade in New Addington, during which a minute’s silence was held and a permanent memorial was unveiled for the first time in honour of the seven who died and others affected by the tragedy.

The event followed a private ceremony earlier this morning close to the site at Sandilands, for the families who lost loved ones. During their visit a permanent memorial plinth inscribed with the names of their relatives and the date of the incident was uncovered, and a minute’s silence was also held. Both memorials were designed in consultation with the families of those who sadly died.

Relatives of Mr Collett and Mr Logan spoke during the ceremony, along with Sergeant Chris Morbey from British Transport Police who spoke movingly about being one of the first responders at the scene. The ceremony was brought to a close with a performance from the choirs of nearby Fairchildes Primary School and Meridian High School, as floral tributes were laid.

As well as members of the public, the New Addington ceremony was attended by council staff, local charities and volunteers from organisations including the Samaritans, Victim Support and British Red Cross, who helped in the aftermath one year ago.

Representatives from Croydon Council, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central and emergency services personnel who responded on the day were also present.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, said: “A year has now passed since this tragedy occurred, but that fateful day remains etched on Croydon’s mind. I am pleased the community has come together today to pause, reflect and remember those deeply affected by this terrible incident. Croydon will never forget.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Today, we honour, remember and pay tribute to the seven Londoners who so tragically lost their lives a year ago. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones, and all of those who were injured and affected by that dreadful day.

“I’d like to pay tribute to the close-knit community who have shown such strong support for one another and to the courage and tireless efforts of the emergency services who responded so well when the call came."

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