Dozens of people were stuck riding a SkyTrain car April 9 after someone let off bear spray at a station and jumped off the carriage before doors closed.
“As they got off the train, they sprayed pepper spray on the train,” said passenger Melanie H. of Surrey.
“All of us were coughing... trying to get air,” she said. “My lungs hurt.”
The train was at the Main Street-Science World Station when the incident happened. Passengers were stuck inside the older carriage for the ride to Commercial-Broadway Station where the train was taken out of service.
TransLink spokesperson Tina Lovgreen said SkyTrain control alerted SkyTrain attendants, who were there to help customers along with transit police.
“Medical attention was offered but turned down by customers,” she said. “Customers continued on their journey on the next train.”
Melanie said passengers first knew something was going on when a man nearest to some other men began swearing at them. Melanie believes he got some of the spray’s close impact.
“They had a Bluetooth speaker and they were acting really weird and loud,” Melanie said, adding there had been some form of altercation between the men and another individual on the Main Street-Science World Station platform.
“They ran after whatever guy they were arguing with,” she said.
With the doors closed, the train began moving east to the Commercial-Broadway Station.
“We were trying to press the alarms and the intercom.”
“A lot of us were by the windows trying to get air,” Melanie said. “I was OK but a lot of people were not. People were coughing and covering their faces.”
Rodney Hodder has identified himself to Glacier Media as the man yelling at the others.
He said they boarded at Stadium-Chinatown Station.
"They were openly drinking when they got on the train. The one teen asked me if I needed any drugs. When the train pulled into Main Street-Science World Station, they saw another teen they have 'beef' with on the platform," Hodder said, believing they jumped off the train to beat the teen up.
"The teen on the platform then released the bear spray to defend themself," Hodder said. "The bear spray wafted into the train as the doors where closing. I then pushed the silent alarm and pressed the button for SkyTrain control."