Fried slug blamed by JR Kyushu for railway chaos in southern Japan


A slug has been blamed for a power outage that halted dozens of trains and delayed 12,000 passengers in the Kyushu region, operator Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) has said.

Power failed on a couple of lines serving the area operated by JR Kyushu on May 30.

The company was forced to cancel 26 train services and delay others, causing chaos in a country known for the efficiency of its punctual transport systems.

Weeks after the power outage, JR Kyushu said they had found the culprit — a slug, which had made its way into an electrical power device installed near rail tracks.

“We tracked down the device responsible for the power failure. … We initially thought what was in there was a bug but it turned out to be a dead slug,” a company spokesman said.

Local media said the slug had been burned to death after short-circuiting the device.

The official said he did not know if this set a new precedent but described it as “rare.”

“We often have trouble with deer colliding with trains but not a problem with slugs,” he said.

JR Kyushu said it had checked similar devices in the area and confirmed there were no other slug intrusions.

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