Passengers on board overcrowded trains from London to Essex ended up wetting themselves on seats after a series of delayed trains saw late night services rammed with commuters.
The trains from Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street, run by train operator c2c, were delayed or cancelled on Thursday evening due to crew members being ill, meaning trains from around 7.30pm were as crowded as rush-hour ones.
Around a dozens services are understood to have been cancelled while others ran with fewer carriages.
One commuter on the 10.49pm from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness said two men in business suits could not reach the toilets because of the onboard crush and could not hold it in.
“When I managed to board it was mayhem. One man by the doors was trying to get through the crush but kept being pushed back, people couldn’t move to let him through. In the end he just couldn’t hold it, Hannah Fisher told The Evening Standard.
“Another chap in a seat got up and tried squeezing past but he couldn’t move. When he left that the man next to him said ‘well those trousers will be going to the dry cleaners tomorrow’."
Passenger Daniel Capps said his train was so crowded he had to stand all the way to Leigh-On-Sea, Essex at around 11.45pm.
People at Fenchurch Street also complained of a lack information or announcements as the chaos unfolded.
Train operator c2c said the crush was due to crew members falling ill and denied rumours among passengers that there had been a walkout.
People vented their anger at the c2c Twitter account, which politely asked people to stop swearing.
@P5O_OMAR Sorry for the cancellations tonight caused by train drivers being taken ill, also please do not swear when tweeting us.— c2c Rail (@c2c_Rail) January 29, 2016
The company had to post a raft of individual responses updating people as the problems continued.
@c2c_Rail you lied! 40minutes later still waiting 😥— Fifi_B (@fionabaum) January 28, 2016
A quickly-corrected error in one of the company's tweets on Thursday evening suggested a driver had been kidnapped.
Due to the driver being taken, the 19:56 Shoeburyness - Fenchurch St has been cancelled this evening.— c2c Rail (@c2c_Rail) January 28, 2016
Apologies, the last message should have read taken ill.— c2c Rail (@c2c_Rail) January 28, 2016
A c2c spokesman told HuffPost UK: "We are very sorry for the disruption caused to our passengers last night, when there was a short-term increase in drivers unable to work because of sickness. We used our contingency drivers to ensure we still ran the last trains and got everyone home."
The company tweeted this morning saying 96% of its trains were on time on Thursday.
CORRECTION* Yesterdays performance was 96.07%% with 391/407 trains on time.— c2c Rail (@c2c_Rail) January 29, 2016