Edinburgh tram death: Fatal accident inquiry announced into 2018 death of man hit by tram at Saughton Mains

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A fatal accident inquiry is to be held into the death of a 53-year-old man who was hit by a tram in Edinburgh nearly six years ago.

Bus driver Carlos Hernan Correa Palacio died after he was struck by a tram as he walked across the Saughton Mains crossing on his way home from work on September 11, 2018. Last year Edinburgh Trams Ltd admitted breaching health and safety legislation and was fined £240,000. Prosecutors said there were no issues with the tram driver, and the vehicle worked as it should do.

The incident happened at the Saughton Mains crossing in September 2018.The incident happened at the Saughton Mains crossing in September 2018.
The incident happened at the Saughton Mains crossing in September 2018. | Alistair Linford

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Now the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has announced it is initiating a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) which it said was expected to focus on risk assessment and safety management at Edinburgh Trams. A preliminary hearing is set for May 31 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.    

In a statement, the COPFS said: “The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the deaths occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.  

“Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.        

“This Inquiry will explore the circumstances of Mr Correa’s death, with an anticipated focus on the process of risk assessment and safety management at ETL, in addition to issues surrounding pedestrian safety at non-motorised user crossings and an assessment of the audibility of warning systems fitted to ETL trams. 

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“The inquiry is also expected to consider the structure for oversight and information sharing within the tram sector, including among regulators, operators, and other interested parties.” 

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said:     “The tragic death of Carlos Correa occurred in circumstances giving rise to significant public concern and as such a discretionary Fatal Accident Inquiry will be held.     Mr Correa’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.” 

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