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Croydon tram crash survivor's compensation plea

A self-employed labourer unable to work since the Croydon tram crash is seeking full compensation after struggling to pay his rent.

Patrick Freeman, 62, fractured his right shoulder when the tram crashed moments before it reached Sandilands Junction on 9 November 2016.

Mr Freeman has to date received £2,000 from Transport for London (TfL).

He said he has been advised by a surgeon that he will only recover 50% of the use of his arm.

Earlier on Monday, the Rail Accident Investigation Bureau (RAIB) said the seven people who died in the tram crash fell out of windows as they shattered.

Mr Freeman was among 16 others seriously hurt in the crash.

Mr Freeman, not a regular tram user, was staying in the New Addington area for a few days while refurbishing a house nearby.

He told BBC London he received the payment of £2,000 from TfL on 12 December, but is now seeking full compensation for loss of wages.

He said: “The loss at the minute is about £6,000-£7,000 in wages. I have a little bit of savings… I’ve had to use that to pay my rent to live on.”

He added: “Its not our fault it happened. Whoever caused it, whatever happened there, it is definitely not the fault of the people on the tram.”

A spokesman for TfL said it had paid more than £500,000 in financial support following the crash.

In a statement, TfL said: “We believe all requests for payments made to date from those injured in the incident have been paid and none are outstanding.

“We urge anyone needing further support to contact us straight away for help.”

Investigators said initial indications showed passengers were “ejected or partially ejected” from the tram.

They added the brake was applied two and a half seconds before the crash, suggesting the driver “lost awareness”.

A total of 70 passengers were on board in November, rather than 60 as originally believed, it added.

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