Millipedes Thought to Cause Train Crash
A massive infestation of millipedes may be responsible for a train crash that injured six people, reported Anthony Bond for The Daily Mail.
The crash occurred when a train arriving at a station in Clarkson, Perth, slammed into a stationary one. Six people suffered neck injuries as a result.
Investigators later found hundreds of crushed, Black Portuguese millipedes strewn across the track.
It’s believed the squashed insects could have reduced traction on the track and contributed to the accident.
David Hynes, a spokesman from the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, explained that in previous instances trains have gone over swarms of millipedes, crushed them and slipped on the tracks.
Black Portuguese millipedes are drawn to moisture and in 2009, swarmed over 1.2 miles of track in Melbourne, causing significant delays. They were introduced into Australia by accident from their native Portugal and have since spread widely across the country. They have been able to flourish successfully due to a lack of natural predators.
The millipedes have even been found entering homes, always in search of moisture rich environments. They have previously interfered with signalling equipment in central Victoria, which caused train cancellations and delays.