News

Millipedes suspected in train collision

Millipedes suspected in train collision

Thomas Widl, worker in the Munich Zoo, measures a giant millipede worm during the annual inventory Friday, January 15, 1999. The length added up to 23 centimeters, four more than in last year's check. Measurements give hints to growth and well-being of the animals. Photo: Associated Press/Diether Endlicher

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Black Portuguese millipedes are suspects in a rear-end collision between two trains in Western Australia on Tuesday after hundreds of the tiny creatures were found squashed in a slippery mess on the track.

“Millipedes are one of the factors we are going to take into account,” David Hynes, spokesman at the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, told Reuters.

Six passengers were treated for stiff necks after a train pulling into a station at Clarkson, 25 miles north of Perth, ran into a stationary one, the train company said.

“What happened in previous instances is trains which were traveling at speed have gone over an infestation, crushed them and made the tracks slimy. The train loses traction and the train has slipped,” Hynes said.

The millipedes are attracted to moist environments and are seen as invasive pests at high population levels. In 2009, thousands of them overran 1.2 miles of track, causing train delays and cancellations near Melbourne in southeast Australia.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

mondaynight

A look back on the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Entertainment

It’s been 30 years since ‘The Cosby Show’ debuted

cosby

Here are some of our favorite moments from one of America's favorite TV families.

in Music

New Queen album features Michael Jackson collaboration

25-overlay3

The track features vocals from late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and the King of Pop.