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Northern Ireland teenager's heartache at losing her grandad in tram crash

By Cate McCurry

Published 17/11/2016

Shannon-Claire McAuley talks about her grandfather Philip Logan, who died in the Croydon tram disaster
Shannon-Claire McAuley talks about her grandfather Philip Logan, who died in the Croydon tram disaster
The scene of the Croydon tram disaster
Philip Logan

A Northern Ireland woman whose grandfather was killed in a tram that derailed in London last week has described him as a "family-man who loved life".

Shannon-Claire McAuley (18) said her family has been left devastated after her loving grandfather, Philip Logan, was one of the seven passengers who lost their lives in the tram which crashed in Croydon.

The student from Carrickfergus travelled to London earlier this week to be with her heartbroken family.

The train was travelling from New Addington - where Mr Logan lived - to Wimbledon when it derailed last Wednesday. According to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), the tram was travelling at 43.5mph in a 12mph zone.

Miss McAuley, who often visited her grandparents in London, said life will "never be the same" without him.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, she said: "My grandad was a wonderful person and a big family-orientated man and generally loved his life and the people around him.

"Visiting home in New Addington where my grandad and nanny lives will never be the same again.

"I always expect him to be there when I walk through the door, making me laugh and smile and now all that's been taken away.

"No words can describe how my family are feeling at the minute."

The family plan to have a fitting funeral for Mr Logan, including his wish of getting him cremated and putting his ashes in a Bacardi rum bottle - his favourite spirit which he mixed with Coca-Cola.

The 52-year-old victim, who ran a building company with his business partner, was reluctant to travel to work on the morning of the accident because of the torrential rain.

However, the father-of-four left his family home, telling his wife Marilyn that he would be back later.

"Every time I went over to London I would always see him and now it won't be the same," Miss McAuley added.

"We have to be together as a family and stay strong for each other and be there for one another.

"Me and my family are finding this hard to come to terms with."

Mr Logan and his wife had been together for 38 years and got married in 2002.

Shortly after the crash, the family became concerned after his business partner contacted Mrs Logan to check on Philip.

After numerous failed attempts to contact him, the family frantically began searching for Mr Logan and visited the local victim support centre to report him missing.

"A policeman came over and said I've got good and bad news," Mrs Logan said.

"Phil is at St George's Hospital, but he's injured.

"We immediately left and went to St George's.

"After about half an hour I asked the first policeman about my husband and he came back and said there is no Mr Logan here."

The family discovered through a news report two days later that he had been formally identified by police.

"He was kind, caring and a loving man. He loved life.

"He loved his home life, loved animals, he was a wonderful person who was wiped out in seconds," Mrs Logan added.

Belfast Telegraph

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