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

Cameron Diaz engaged to Good Charlotte star

Fresh
camerondiaz

The "Charlie's Angels" star is reportedly planning to marry Benji Madden.

in Entertainment

MOVIES: 25 Days of Christmas Films

Fresh
James Stewart, center, is reunited with his wife, Donna Reed, left, and children during the last scene of Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life".

Count down to Christmas with these 25 festive holiday movies.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials, bowl games this weekend

Fresh
Elf

Here's a look at Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sports specials airing this weekend.