Infestation of millipedes 'caused train crash' in Australia

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Infestation of millipedes 'caused train crash' in Australia

A huge infestation of millipedes could be the reason behind a crash between two trains in Western Australia.

Six passengers were treated for neck problems after a train pulling into a station at Clarkson, 25 miles north of Perth, ran into a stationary one.

David Hynes, spokesman at the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, told news.com.au: "It was low speed (the collision).

"The stationary train was loading passengers at Clarkson and the other train was coming up behind it, as it would do being the next cab off the rank and it just hasn't been able to pull up in time.

"We don't know why."

However, according to Sky News and the Daily Mail, Mr Hynes added: "Millipedes are one of the factors we are going to take into account.

"What happened in previous instances is trains which were travelling at speed have gone over an infestation, crushed them and made the tracks slimy.

"The train loses traction and the train has slipped."

It is the Portuguese black millipede that is thought to be the culprit. They are seen as an invasive pest in Australia, after being accidentally introduced into the country from their native Portugal.

They seek out moist environments, and hundreds were seen on the tracks.

It's not the first time they've caused rail problems. Back in 2009, thousands of millipedes were crushed crossing the tracks at Tallarook, central Victoria, causing train cancellations and delays.

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