On 24 January 2007, a prototype City Class tram which was not carrying passengers was stationary near Foxhall Square in Blackpool when a fire occurred inside the vehicle. The tram driver was able to leave the tram and there were no injuries caused by the incident.
The cause of the fire has not been conclusively determined, although it is probable it began in the low voltage electrical system.
The RAIB investigation has focussed on the design and operating control measures that were in place and those that would have been needed to prevent the incident. Contributory factors to the incident were that the tramway operator had not conducted an appropriate risk assessment regarding the use of the vehicle on the network, nor did it have robust emergency plans in place.
RAIB has made two recommendations as a result of this incident. These are aimed at:
- the construction of the tram and the provision of information to network operators
- the conducting of risk assessments for the acceptance of new or altered vehicles on the Blackpool Tramway.
Response to recommendations:
- RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body.
- RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.