Portuguese black millipedes are being blamed for causing a train crash in between two trains at the Clarkson railroad station about 25 miles north of Perth,Australia. has been blamed on an enormous infestation of millipedes could have caused a crash between two trains in Western Australia.
According to witnesses, the accident occurred when a commuter train pulling into the depot slammed into a train that was standing still, causing six passengers to suffer whiplash.
“Millipedes are one of the factors we are going to take into account,” David Hynes, spokesman at the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia, said after inspectors discovered hundreds of the slimy insects mashed on the track.
“'What happened in previous instances is trains which were travelling at speed have gone over an infestation, crushed them and made the tracks slippery, causing the trains to lose traction.”
He also noted that an invasion of thousands of Portuguese millipedes were responsible to numerous delays and cancellations near Melbourne after they crawled onto 1.2 miles of railroad back in 2009.
Native to Portugal (as their name implies) the millipedes were introduced to Australia by accident, where they have no natural enemies. As a result, the nearly 2 inch long creatures have florished and overrun much of the country becoming a sheer nuisance do to their vast numbers.
They are also known to emit a strong smelling yellowish fluid containing hyrdrogen cyandide when threatened which can irritate the eyes and stain clothing. Because of this, people (unlike the trains) are advised not to squish them, but rather “sweep” them away.