A man in woman’s clothing was allegedly pushed to his death in front of a rush-hour Tube train at one of London’s busiest stations.
Hundreds of passengers watched in horror as the victim plunged on to the track as the Piccadilly line train pulled into King’s Cross just after 6.30 last night.
A 34-year-old woman from Cricklewood was arrested at the scene and was today being held in custody on suspicion of murder. Police revealed that a man on the platform had “detained” her until officers arrived.
Eyewitnesses suggested that the couple knew each other and that the woman had been “pushing and pulling” her friend on the edge of the platform.
British Transport Police said officers had not been able to identify the victim, saying only that he was white and aged about 50. Witnesses at first believed that a woman had been the victim because the man appeared to be wearing a dress. One onlooker who was standing next to the victim described the moment he fell to his death.
The student, who gave her name as Emma, said: “A whole carriage passed before the train stopped. As the woman went down, the two bags I had were dragged with her under the train.”
She said the couple appeared to have been “pushing and pulling as a joke” moments before the train pulled in.
A station worker said: “They were standing very close to the edge of the platform and it was jam-packed because it was the height of rush-hour.
“The whole platform is a crime scene, with a forensic tent and scene-of-crime officers. The body was left in place for hours, which caused serious delays.”
Chaos hit the network afterwards, with hundreds stranded on trains for about two hours. A Transport for London spokesman said 172 passengers had to be led to safety through tunnels.
One elderly passenger claimed that when she eventually made it to Caledonian Road station through the tunnels, there were no police or paramedics.
Retired nurse Ande Warner, 78, from Enfield, said: “We spent an hour being guided back along the tracks from the stuck train by staff. When we got to Caledonian Road there was nobody to help. I was with a diabetic woman about to go into a coma. It was horrendous and frightening. We only found out later that somebody had died.”
A TfL official said: “The Piccadilly line was suspended between Hyde Park and Arnos Grove in both directions following an incident at King’s Cross.
“Due to this investigation a following train was stopped in the tunnel and the 172 passengers were taken off and walked back to Caledonian Road station safely. Ambulances were sent to Caledonian Road station as a precaution but were not required.”
A spokesman for British Transport Police said: “Emergency services were called to King’s Cross just after 6.30pm following reports of a man under a Piccadilly line train. Our detectives have since launched a murder investigation. A 34-year-old woman from Cricklewood was arrested at the scene and has been taken into custody for questioning.”
Det Supt Ashley Croft said: “Several witnesses have come forward and CCTV from the station has been retrieved. We are working to build a picture of exactly what took place and I ask anyone who may have seen the incident to contact us on 0800 40 50 40.”