Substance sprayed on Overground train at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury leaves passengers ‘wheezing with eyes stinging’

PUBLISHED: 15:56 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:04 05 March 2019

Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station. Picture: Matt Buck/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Caledonian Road and Barnsbury station. Picture: Matt Buck/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Matt Buck

Passengers were left wheezing and rubbing their eyes after two men on an Overground train at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury sprayed “gas” in a packed carriage.

Police are now investigating the incident, which happened on a Clapham Junction-bound service at about 5.10pm on Saturday. Officers from British Transport Police said they believed a stink bomb had been detonated, though people who were on the train have dismissed that claim.

“It definitely wasn’t a stink bomb,” said Jane Emily Geiger. “There was no smell at all. I think it was pepper spray or something

“Two young men got on at Highbury and Islington. One woman said she saw them get off the train opposite and one of them said: ‘Have you done it yet?’.

“They were walking all the way through the train, and then everyone started wheezing and coughing and hacking their lungs up. Eyes streaming.

“Absolutely everybody in the carriage was really bad, and we all started to walk down to the other end.

“Then we pulled into Caledonian Road and Barnsbury and got of and spoke to the guy on the platform. They tried to get on another train.

“A guy next to me said he saw one of the men had a canister and was spraying it behind him as he walked down the train.

“It felt like when you have smoke in the back of your throat. There were loads of kids on there, which is pretty crap.”

The train was quickly taken out of service and the situation was brought to an unsatisfying end.

“I don’t know if police were waiting for them,” Jane added. “After half-an-hour everyone was fine. But no one gave us any instructions to get checked out or anything, it was a bit worrying. No one did anything to check the train either.”

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