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 Local

The City of Yankton’s Sales Taxes Have Turned Around

Money Coins

After some errors by the state revenue department, the sales taxes for Yankton are looking much better.

in Local

Wanted: Marina Operator

Boater

The current lease for the operation of the marina at the Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area is set to expire at the end of this year, and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks is looking for someone interested in taking over.

in Local

Transportation Bill Is Short Term Fix

Road Construction

Before adjourning earlier this month, Congress passed another short term transportation bill. That bill continues the bulk of funding for highway construction projects across the country, but only until next spring.

in Local

District 40 Candidates Debate

WP-Microphone

The two candidates for the District 40 Senate seat in the Nebraska Unicameral debated this week in Hartington.

in Local

Raise For Social Security Recipients

Money Coins

Folks on Social Security will see a one point seven percent increase in their benefits starting on January first.