London tram driver suspended after appearing to fall asleep at the controls

The driver was on the same stretch of track where a tram derailed killing seven people on November 9th

Investigators are looking at footage showing a tram driver with his eyes closed at the controls on the same track as the fatal Croydon crash.

Tram operator, FirstGroup has suspended the driver, pending the outcome of an investigation, after The Sun released the footage this afternoon

The recording was made on the same section of track that saw a tram derail on November 9th - killing seven people and injuring more than 50.

The passenger who made the recording said he was "incredulous" after spotting the driver struggling to remain upright in his seat.

"It was the most surreal thing because the tram is zooming along and the driver seems to be falling asleep," he told The Sun.

"It seemed like he had perfected the art and knew when the next stop was approaching to wake up.

"He reminded me of someone who dozes off in a meeting - except if you doze off in a meeting you are not killing anyone."

It has been estimated that the tram was travelling at more than 40mph at the time the footage was filmed at 6pm on 14 April.

The passenger added: "If you are in charge of 50 plus lives and you are that exhausted its quite a dangerous thing. He would nod off and then jolt back up near the stops.

"Perhaps he'd had a really long day. It's a downhill stretch and it felt to me like the tram was going too fast."

Transport for London said they have asked for a report from FirstGroup, adding that they are investigating the footage.

In a statement, FirstGroup said: "If the situation is as it appears then this is completely unacceptable and appropriate action will be taken."

A spokesman for the operator said drivers regularly undergo medical testing, as well as random drug and alcohol screening.

He added that drivers are also monitored "for possible fatigue."

The British Transport Police said it is aware of the footage and is "looking into the circumstances of the incident."