Rogue slug blamed for Japanese railway chaos

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Japanese bullet trainImage source, NHSRCL
Image caption,
Japanese train (file image)

A power cut that disrupted rail traffic on a Japanese island last month was caused by a slug, officials say.

More than 12,000 people's journeys were affected when nearly 30 trains on Kyushu shuddered to a halt because of the slimy intruder's actions.

Its electrocuted remains were found lodged inside equipment next to the tracks, Japan Railways says.

The incident in Japan has echoes of a shutdown caused by a weasel at Europe's Large Hadron Collider in 2016.

When the weasel took a fatal chew on wiring inside a high-voltage transformer, it caused a short circuit which temporarily stopped the work of the particle accelerator.

In Japan, local media on the trail of the slug report that it managed to squeeze through a tiny gap to get into a load disconnector.

A British cousin of the ill-fated mollusc achieved notoriety in 2011, The Guardian reports, when it crawled inside a traffic light control box in the northern town of Darlington and caused a short circuit, resulting in "traffic chaos".