'AIDs scare': 100 passengers evacuated from a train in Australia after a bleeding man claims he has the disease

Train staff in the city of New South Wales city of Wollongong allegedly told passengers to leave the train after a man  reportedly said he had AIDs

Passengers were evacuated from a train in Australia on Sunday after a drunken traveller with a bleeding leg said he had AIDs, a decision by staff that HIV campaigners have called “disgraceful”.

The man, who was allegedly intoxicated, had fallen off his bike at North Wollongong station in the New South Wales (NSW) city of Wollongong and staff members were called to tend to his bleeding leg, Fairfax Media reported.

While they treated the injured man, he reportedly told staff that he had AIDs, prompting them to evacuate around 100 people from the train at the platform.

The intoxicated man was then allowed to continue on the train until nearby Unanderra, where he was met by police and NSW ambulance officers, the newspaper reported.

A police spokeswoman said the man was issued a ‘‘move-on notice’’ when he arrived at the station.

Will Harris, Head of Media at UK based AIDs and HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “There was no risk of the virus being transmitted to passengers; station staff were just courting panic.

"Even today, public attitudes towards HIV can all too often take on an edge of hysteria, which in turn fuels stigma and discrimination. Here in the UK, nine out of ten people with HIV tell us they think public understanding of the condition needs to improve.

"Stories like this show just how far it needs to come," he added.

Nicolas Parkhill, CEO of Australian HIV and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) charity ACON, told the Star Observer: ”[These] actions, from a State Government-run enterprise, should not only have drawn an apology for the people who were needlessly frightened and evacuated, but also to the wider community of gay men and people living with HIV.”

A passenger on the train, Dexter Freeme, said: ‘‘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”

The incident also caused severe delays for passengers.

New South Wales (NSW) Trainlink has denied the evacuation has anything to do with the passenger’s claims, and apologised for the inconvenience.

A spokesperson told Fairfax Media: “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.’’

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat