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Erratic man on board train between Faversham and Whitstable causes passengers to flee in terror


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Brave passengers restrained an erratic man as others fled in fear during a terrifying incident on a train.

One eyewitness says the man started chanting "Allahu Akbar" while pacing up and down the service in his bare feet when it left Faversham railway station.

The incident happened on a train after departing from Faversham railway station. Picture: Tony Flashman
The incident happened on a train after departing from Faversham railway station. Picture: Tony Flashman

Some women were reduced to tears as they huddled together with other passengers after fleeing the carriage the man was in.

Others helped restrain him while they waited for the service to arrive at Whitstable yesterday morning.

Police eventually swooped on the service, detained the man and searched him.

Other officers searched the train for anything suspicious, but nothing was found.

The man was arrested for a "serious public order offence". However, British Transport Police (BTP) would not disclose any further details.

Police arrived at Whitstable railway station after the incident was reported. Picture: Paul Amos
Police arrived at Whitstable railway station after the incident was reported. Picture: Paul Amos

Telesales executive Alice Lawrence, 31, was on her way to work and described the "chaotic" scene.

The train had just left Faversham at 7.55am when a man started crying out 'Allahu Akbar' - an Islamic phrase which means 'God is great'.

"As we were travelling this bloke was rambling in a different language, screaming up and down the train," she said.

"We understood a bit of it as Arabic, so everyone ran away from him and the train conductor phoned the police.

"Because it was such a long journey between Faversham and Whitstable, a bloke had to hold him in a seat so everyone could stay in a huddle."

She told how she saw some women crying and men shouting as they desperately tried to pin down the man. Others huddled together as the incident unfolded.

A BTP spokesperson said: "British Transport Police and colleagues from Kent Police attended Whitstable station at 7.58am yesterday following reports of a passenger causing a disturbance on a train.

"A man was arrested on suspicion of a serious public order offence and conveyed to police custody. He was later released and no further action was taken.

"Officers also conducted a search of the train and nothing suspicious was discovered."

A spokesperson for Southeastern said: "We’re aware of the incident yesterday which was dealt with by the police.

"Thankfully no member of the public or our colleagues were injured. Given the ongoing investigation, we’re unable to add anything further at the current time."

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