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 Local

Watching Russia Carefully

air force

Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer says Russian military moves in Syria are concerning.

in Local

ConAgra HQ Leaving Omaha

money in wallet

ConAgra said this week it will move it;s corporate headquarters from Omaha to Chicago.

in Local

Manufacturers Deal With Labor Shortage


Many manufacturing plants across the state have been reaching out this week with open houses and other events to mark “Manufacturing Week” and hopefully entice more people to work there.

in Local

Daugaard Briefed On Task Force Meeting


The South Dakota Blue Ribbon Task Force on Students and Teachers met again yesterday (Thursday) in Pierre.

in Local

Crest For USS Sioux City Unveiled

uss sioux city

The captain of a new naval ship bearing the name of Sioux City surprised members of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce by unveiling the ship’s official crest.