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Pictured: Chaotic scenes as alcohol-fuelled Facebook party to mark the end of drinking on the tube ends in violence


By Sam Greenhill

Last updated at 11:35 PM on 01st June 2008

It was billed as a good-natured get-together to mark the end of legal drinking on the London Underground.

It ended in violence, mayhem and terror for law-abiding travellers.

Police were called after thousands of partygoers organised through the social networking website Facebook swarmed on to station platforms swigging alcohol on Saturday night.

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article-1023417-0171842600000578-524_468x313.jpg Police clash with a man during one of the many battles to restore order as the party to mark the last night of drinking on the Tube descended into anarchy




article-1023417-017155AF00000578-336_468x299.jpg Party revellers enjoy the atmosphere as they congregate outside of a closed Liverpool St Tube Station to mark the end of drinking on the Underground







Before long many were fighting or vomiting. Seven Tube staff and two police officers were assaulted, six Underground stations had to be closed and several trains were taken out of service after party-goers began smashing them up. There were 17 arrests.

The new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, banned alcohol on the Tube from yesterday to make travelling safer and less unpleasant.

This prompted several Facebook groups to issue instructions for a party.

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article-1023417-0171426500000578-150_468x311.jpg Police officers assist a reveller on a Circle line tube platform, before the ban on drinking alcohol came into force at midnight



The festivities were at first troublefree with revellers - many in fancy dress - drinking beer and wine, and dancing and singing in railway carriages and on platforms, mainly along the Circle Line.

But the scenes turned ugly as the night wore on, with overcrowding and drunken fights breaking out at Liverpool Street, Euston, Euston Square, Aldgate, Gloucester Road and Baker Street stations.

Horrified passengers were squashed into carriages with increasingly rowdy drunks.

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Things get out of hand as drunken travellers create chaos across the network

Desmond Fitzgerald, 48, a photographer from Croydon, said he was amazed no one fell or was pushed into the path of an oncoming train because the platform was packed and slippery from gallons of spilled alcohol.


'When I got on the train it was worse than rush hour, and with every station it went through more and more heavily-drunk people seemed to be getting on.

Then a fight broke out between about five people, but because we were so tightly packed in, it soon spread throughout the carriage and I had to struggle to escape to the next one.

'The atmosphere had really changed by this point. People were ripping off adverts and maps and being sick all over the place.

'It was bad enough for me but if I had been a mother with children or a tourist coming home from a night out in the West End it would have been a nightmare.'

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article-1023417-0171D0E200000578-433_468x286.jpg What started as fun soon turned sour as thousands of revellers caused chaos and the closure of Liverpool Street Station


article-1023417-0171D01D00000578-508_468x286.jpg British Transport Police sent extra officers to the troublespots and called in backup from the Metropolitan and City of London forces.

One reveller, David Mudkips, 25, a web programmer from Hackney, described his experience on the train as 'like rush hour but fun.

There were people's sweaty armpits in my face but I didn't care because I was drinking.'

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article-1023417-0171C33000000578-307_468x281.jpg Revellers make the most of things before the no alcohol ban comes into force

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union general secretary Bob Crow said the alcohol ban could put staff at even greater danger of assault if they were expected to enforce the ' halfbaked' new rule.

But a spokesman for the Mayor said: ' Londoners are fed up with feeling threatened and intimidated on public transport. It is ridiculous of the RMT to suggest that the alcohol ban threatens the safety of London Underground staff, when it was the consumption of alcohol that fuelled the reprehensible incidents.'


article-1023417-0171C48500000578-960_468x286.jpg Passengers were in happy spirits as the Tube cocktail party gets into full swing


article-1023417-0171D12500000578-420_468x286.jpg Passengers raised a glass to the end of drinking on the Underground




article-1023417-0171CD2300000578-855_468x286.jpg Londoners enjoy the last moments of being able to drink on public transport


article-1023417-0171C38400000578-434_468x286.jpg Party goers brought champagne and dressed up as part of the festivities

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