Saturday 17 March 2018

'I was so grateful that we missed that first train' - Irish DJ minutes away from station where axe-wielding man went on rampage

Dusseldorf scene and, inset, Hayley and her boyfriend
Dusseldorf scene and, inset, Hayley and her boyfriend

Hayley Halpin

An Irish DJ was minutes away from being caught up in an axe attack in a German train station last week.

Meghann Scully and her boyfriend were due to arrive in Dusseldorf at the same time as an axe-wielding man went on a rampage, leaving seven people injured.

The couple missed their train from Cologne following a platform change that they were unaware of and had to board the following train a half an hour later.

The train that they were on stopped just short of the platform and the doors didn’t open.

Speaking to, Meghann said: "We were just there waiting to get off and nothing was happened and we were like this is a bit weird and the doors just weren’t opening.

"An announcer came on and it was all in German but we can’t speak the language. In my head I didn’t really know what was going on. I lived in London for a year and a half and trains were always stopping due to electrical faults and all those thing," she said.

"While we were waiting for the doors to open a load of ambulances went by and I thought that was a bit unusual but I thought nothing of it again."

After a period of time sitting on the tracks, the announcer came back on. It was at this point that Meghann asked an English speaking German passenger what the problem was.

"He told me that something bad has happened. I just threw on my mobile data and I checked Twitter and there it was, it was all unfolding inside," she said.

Read more: 'Suddenly someone jumped out with an axe... There was blood everywhere': Seven injured in attack at Dusseldorf train station

"I couldn’t believe it and then a bit of panic came over me because I didn’t even know if we were safe on the train.

"I was with my boyfriend and he kept me calm but if I was on my own there I think I would have gotten really upset because we didn’t know anything and without any English announcements, not being told anything and being left sitting inside on that train for over two hours I was really nervous," she said.

Meghann, a DJ for Spin South West, and her boyfriend were kept on the train for two and a half hours before being diverted to a town 20km away.

From the town, they got a taxi back to their hotel in Dusseldorf, which was just 300 yards away from the train station.

"By the time we got back there, it was really quite there wasn’t many people around at all. There was news reporters arriving. There were still a lot of guards and ambulances around the place.

"Instead of going down and having a look we went straight to our hotel because we wanted to stay indoors as there was talks that there was a second man at large with an axe as well," she added.

The pair left Dusseldorf the following morning and Meghann described the atmosphere as unusual because "everything was back to normal as if nothing ever happened".

"In a way I was grateful that we missed that first train because we would have been there when it actually happened and it would have been really horrible to see and be caught up in it all," she said.

"It was just so frightening to think that was happening in the station when we were just outside on the tracks," she said.

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