Panicked passengers on a train just outside Wimbledon station, southwest London, forced open the doors of their carriage and ran onto the tracks.
Ian O’Sullivan, 42, who was in the same carriage as the passenger, told the Guardian that a man with a rucksack began reading what appeared to be extracts from the Old Testament, when the train stopped at a red light outside the south-west London rail station.
He said: “He was quite well spoken and calm.
“He said ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to talk to you about something and that something is the word of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He’s here to heal your sins. The Bible tells you that homosexuality is a sin and sex before marriage is a sin. You need to repent’.”
O’Sullivan said he didn’t feel threatened by the man but others started pushing and shoving, before another passenger told the man that he was scaring people.
He added: “It suddenly became a Chinese whisper and [there was] panic.”
A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “Network Rail staff were on the scene quickly and ensured that everyone was guided to a place of safety.”
The incident led to long delays all morning because according to police, Network Rail had to switch off power in the area to avoid the risk of passengers being electrocuted.
A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesperson said: “We were called at 8.31am today to Wimbledon after reports of a disturbance on a train to Waterloo.
“BTP attended and are carrying out enquiries at present. No one was injured and no arrests have been made.”
Hundreds of thousands of commuters experienced major disruption during rush hour on Monday morning after commuters fled from a man reading from the bible.