A southbound train was evacuated at Wollongong Railway Station yesterday after an intoxicated passenger who was bleeding from a leg wound claimed he had AIDS.
A female NSW Trains staff member was trying to administer first aid to the man, who had boarded the train with his bike at North Wollongong around midday, when he made the claim.
After the train was evacuated, seven of the passengers became stuck in a lift for almost half an hour at Wollongong station, and emergency services were called to free them.
The intoxicated man was allowed to continue on the train until Unanderra, where he was met by police and NSW ambulance officers.
A police media spokeswoman said the man was issued a ‘‘move-on notice’’ when he arrived at the station.
Dexter Freeme, who was travelling to Gerringong, was among those forced off the train and who later became trapped in the lift.
He said he had wanted police to shoot the glass so he could get out of the lift.
‘‘Being with seven people in a small lift like that for half an hour – it’s a bit scary,’’ he said.
‘‘Emergency services had a key [to the lift], so railway staff here should have had a key.
‘‘They made a bad decision to get the people off the train. They should have got him [the intoxicated man] off the train.
‘‘But they got us all off the train so 100 people moved for one person, then we had to go up the lift.’’
Mr Freeme’s wife Gale said the emergency button in the lift was connected to a command centre in Sydney.
‘‘There was a lack of communication,’’ she said.
Another woman who was trapped, Brenda Grant, said the experience had left her shaken.
‘‘I have bad panic attacks and anxiety,’’ she said.
Neither police nor ambulance could confirm whether the intoxicated man’s claim about having AIDS was true.
A NSW TrainLink spokeswoman said the train guard performed first aid on the man after he was observed falling off his bike on the platform.
‘‘All guards are trained in first aid and if someone is injured, it is their duty to make an assessment to either provide first aid or seek medical advice. On this occasion, the guard provided assistance.’’
Due to the delays caused by the incident, the train journey ended at Oak Flats and buses were provided between Kiama and Oak Flats.
The spokeswoman said the customers who’d been trapped in the lift were offered bottles of water, medical help and taxis to take them to their final destinations.
She said NSW TrainLink apologised for the inconvenience.