Passengers witness fight on packed Tarka Line train

SIX North Devon men have been arrested in connection with a mass brawl on a train to Barnstaple.

Around 100 passengers are thought to have witnesses the fight on board the 4.57pm train from Exeter St David’s to Barnstaple last Friday.

Earlier that day, police attended a disturbance involving two groups of men in Queen Street, near to Exeter Central railway station.

Officers separated the two groups and then travelled with one of the groups to Exeter St David’s station to ensure they caught the Barnstaple service.

However, shortly after the train left the station, it emerged that one member of the second group of men had also got on the same train. Fighting broke out when members of the first group spotted the man from the second group and moved into the carriage he was in.

DC Dean Jeffery, investigating officer, said: “Members of the public, including families with children, witnessed the disturbance and some tried to separate both parties.

“We believe some passengers may have suffered minor injuries as the two parties fought on board the train.

“I would urge anyone who saw what happened, or who was hurt during this incident, to come forward as you may have information which can assist our investigation.

“Rail travel is generally extremely safe and incidents such as this are very rare. However, all members of the public and rail staff have the right to travel and go about their jobs without having to witness distressing incidents such as this.

“I would appeal for anyone who was on the train or has any information to contact police straight away.”

Six men, from the North Devon area, were arrested on suspicion of affray following the incident. They have been bailed until November 15, 16 and 17.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 0800 40 50 40, quoting incident number B5/WK of 03/11/2010, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.