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    Preacher Spouting Verses About 'Doomsday' Sparks Panic Among UK Train Passengers

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    Panicking passengers evacuated a London-bound train after a preacher wearing a rucksack began reciting Bible verses about "doomsday." The incident caused widespread disruption to rail services.

    Passengers evacuated a London-bound train during rush hour on Monday, October 2, after a man wearing a rucksack began reciting apocalyptic verses from the Bible.

    Fearing the man's erratic behavior, they spilled out onto the track just outside Wimbledon station in south-west London at 8.30am, forcing South Western Railway to switch off the power to the line.

    The resulting commotion caused long delays on the line into London's Waterloo station.

    Several people tweeted about the incident, which caused many people to be late for work on Monday morning.

    ​Ian O'Sullivan, who was in the same carriage as the preacher, blamed an "idiot woman" who told a train guard the man had said he had a bomb and was going to kill everybody.

    "[He] said nothing of the sort," he tweeted.

    Mr. O'Sullivan, a marketing consultant, said the man was addressing passengers about the gospel and was telling people homosexuality and sex before marriage were both sins and they needed to repent.

    But other passengers said the man referred to "doomsday" and life after death, which spooked many people.

    The train is believed to have been stationary outside Wimbledon station when panicked passengers forced open the doors and emptied out onto the nearby tracks.

    Passengers were warned over the tannoy system to stay away from the electrified tracks and were warned they could die if they touched a rail.

    A train guard eventually came to speak to the man and searched his rucksack, but found only some books and a drinks flask.

    The guard was praised for his handling of the situation.

    Ironically the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is currently engaged in disputes with several UK train companies over plans to remove guards from trains.

    "Panic could have broken out but for the guard's calm and measured response. This was a packed passenger train at the height of the rush hour. It illustrates just why RMT members are fighting so hard to keep the guard on South Western Railway services," said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

    ​Eventually passengers boarded the train again and British Transport Police officers questioned the man at Wimbledon station but he was not charged with any offense.

    "Passengers self-evacuated off a train and on to the tracks at Wimbledon this morning after a passenger incident. British Transport Police are investigating and there were no injuries to passengers or staff," said a Network Rail spokesman on Monday.

    The incident comes only two weeks after a home-made bomb caught fire on a train at Parsons Green in west London, causing injuries and mass panic.

    Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.
    © AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth
    Commuters wait on the platform at Parsons Green station in London, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.

    Ahmed Hassan, 18, has been charged with attempted murder in connection with that incident.

    Related:

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    Area Near London's Parsons Green Tube Station Evacuated - Metropolitan Police
    Tags:
    preacher, fear, doomsday, passengers, transport, panic, train, South Western Railway, British Transport Police, Britain, United Kingdom, London
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