A man boarded a packed London train with a “massive knife”, sparking panic after a series of terror attacks in the capital.
Police said the man was suffering a mental health crisis and had been chased by officers to Queens Road, in Peckham, on Tuesday afternoon.
The man left his car and ran along railway lines to the nearby station, then boarded a train while holding a knife.
Passengers described panic breaking out before the man was Tasered and detained under the Mental Health Act. No one was injured.
It came weeks after convicted terrorist Sudesh Amman launched a knife attack in Streatham, about five miles away from Queens Road Peckham station, and was shot dead.
The train was travelling from Beckenham Junction towards London Bridge, where another released terrorist – Usman Khan – murdered two people in a terror attack in November.
One man who was on the train praised the driver for reassuring those on board.
“I applaud his calmness and making sure everyone was okay,” he wrote on Twitter. “He allowed a few of us to hide in his carriage as it did escalate.”
Witnesses described “madness” at the scene of the incident, with a helicopter hovering overhead as Queens Road Peckham station was closed and armed police officers arrived.
Another train passenger commended the police for their quick response. The man had a “massive knife,” they wrote, adding: “I am just thankful that he didn't get to use it.”
The passenger said “you could taste the panic” during the incident, which some initially feared to be a terror attack.
Another man described the knife as “very big” but said the situation was “under control”.
The Metropolitan Police said the train had been packed when the man jumped on board.
A spokesperson said officers were initially called at 12.20pm to a property in Queen’s Road.
“A man was reported to be at the location armed with a knife and having a mental health crisis,” a statement added.
“Officers attended, but the man had left in a car. After a search of the area officers found the car and a chase was authorised.
“The driver decamped from the car in Queens Road, and ran along railway lines to Queens Road Peckham railway station.
“He then boarded a train - which was in service and contained passengers - still armed with a knife.
“The pursuing officers located the man on the train, and deployed a Taser to detain him.
“London Ambulance Service have attended the scene and the man, believed to be aged in his mid-50s, has been detained under the Mental Health Act.”
There were no reports of any injuries to members of the public or officers.
Detective Superintendent Nicky Arrowsmith said: “This incident highlights the challenges that police officers confront on a daily basis.
“I am very proud of the courage and determination of all the officers involved, and pleased that their work helped ensure no member of the public suffered any harm.”