Frustrated racegoers were forced to take matters into their own hands on Saturday evening in Melbourne when a brawl broke out on a CBD train, resulting in a delay of over an hour. The incident occurred near Southern Cross station, leaving the well-dressed crowd from the Champions Stakes Day event stranded. In a desperate move, some racegoers forcibly opened the carriage doors and began stumbling over the tracks, despite the dangers involved.
Videos captured the astonishing scenes as Metro staff assisted passengers in making the steep drop to ground level. However, navigating the unstable terrain led to injuries, with two individuals hurt while attempting to traverse the gravel incline. Mars Karmalita, who witnessed the exodus across the rail lines, mentioned that some of those attempting the trek were intoxicated.
Passengers were growing increasingly frustrated with the delays, complaining about the lengthy wait. Metro staff helped disembark those on the train; nevertheless, the operator strongly condemned the behavior.
The disruptions caused by the brawl resulted in major delays across several train lines, including Craigieburn, Sunbury, Racecourse, Upfield, and Werribee. Services did not return to normal until around 8:45 pm, approximately one hour after the initial incident was resolved.
Daniel Bowen, from the Public Transport Users Association, emphasized that measures should be taken to prevent similar situations in the future. He believes that it is vital for Metro and the police to assess whether the delay could have been minimized. However, Bowen stressed the importance of passengers remaining onboard for their own safety, as venturing onto the tracks is incredibly dangerous.
The altercation that led to the brawl took an hour for Melbourne police to bring under control. A 51-year-old individual was hospitalized with serious head injuries, while a 48-year-old man was being questioned by investigators. Crime Stoppers urged any witnesses or individuals with information about the incident to come forward.
Overall, the reckless actions of frustrated racegoers who abandoned the train and trespassed onto the tracks highlighted the need for better measures to handle such situations, ensuring the safety of both passengers and rail operations.