Trains to Liverpool have been thrown into chaos after a member of rail staff was reportedly threatened with violence.
Staffs members at Manchester Victoria allegedly walked out of the station in the middle of their shift on Thursday after significant abuse from the public.
The unscheduled "walk out" means that trains running to and from the station, including to Liverpool Lime Street and Liverpool South Parkway, are facing serious delays and cancellations.
Disruption comes after reports at the station that a member of staff was verbally abused by members of the public and threatened with serious violence.
Liverpool ECHO reporter Chris McKeon, who was due to return to Liverpool from Manchester Victoria shortly after 5pm, told the ECHO : "We were waiting on the train and the driver came on over the tannoy and said that one of the platform staff walked out earlier in the day due to receiving abuse off a member of the public.
"So as we were waiting on a dispatcher, there was apparently more trouble and all the platform staff have decided to walk out.
"It’s massively frustrating, but I guess people have a right not to be abused at work and it’s shocking that people would abuse staff to the extent they felt they had to walk out."
Another train user also confirmed that the station announcer at Manchester Victoria said that staff faced "a serious threat of violent assault".
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The announcer reportedly said: "We apologise for the delay and inconvenience this is causing, but hope you understand why this has happened."
One commuter added: "We’d been sat on the train for a while with no information when the driver came on and said because of an assault on staff all the platform staff had walked out.
"They said it happened earlier in the day as well.
"I’m absolutely gutted as was desperate to get back to Liverpool to see family.
"But i can totally understand why they’ve done it - someone on the tannoy said it was because of the threat of serious violence against someone which is a total disgrace"
National Rail have posted to their website about the incident, while Northern Rail has stated that delays and cancellations could last until 8pm.
A spokesperson for National Rail said: "An operational incident at Manchester Victoria and also a points failure at Castleton is resulting in delays of up to 40 minutes to trains running through Manchester Victoria.
"Some trains will also be cancelled.
"Passengers causing a disturbance at Manchester Victoria are disrupting trains running through the station.
"Trains may be delayed by up to 45 minutes or cancelled. Disruption is expected until at least 20:00."
Northern have also posted: "Due to passengers causing a disturbance on a train at Manchester Victoria some lines will be blocked."
People on social media have slammed the behaviour of the passengers who reportedly threatened the staff.
Stuart Taylor said: "And if the dispatchers don't have a hard enough time, some excuse for a human assaulted one of the dispatchers.
"Get a grip, they already have a terrible time. Nothing is leaving Manchester Victoria."