British Transport Police attended the scene shortly after 6pm and arrested the man, while the victim was taken to hospital.
Pictures which emerged on social media show a “full-on stampede” as hundreds of passengers were trying to evacuate the station following the attack.
Leon Bruff, who witnessed the stabbing, told The Sun that people “trampled over each other” in order to escape.
He said the knifeman was on a rampage and shouted on the train: “Don’t mess with me, I’ll kill you.”
Mr Bruff also added that the “maniac” was holding a “12 inches long” blade.
Another witness, Bunmi Ogunleye, said on Twitter: “We were all terrified!
“The guy who got stabbed was running until he collapsed.
“Bleeding from the chest.”
A stampede broke out and a man was stabbed in the chest at Hackney Central Station (Image: Twitter @Lili / )
Hazel Horton, also described the attack and wrote on Twitter people immediately “dropped phone and bags” at the sight of the knifeman.
She told the Evening Standard: “People were shouting 'get me off the train’.
“I was sitting with a