'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
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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own