Tokyo: Authorities have found a slug that caused a massive power outage that halted part of Japan’s high-speed rail network and delayed thousands of passengers last month.
The power failed on two lines serving southern Japan operated by Kyushu Railway, known as JR Kyushu, on 30 May, reports said.
It had to cancel 26 train journeys and delay other services, causing "chaos in a country known for the efficiency of its punctual transport systems," AFP said. The outage occurred during peak commuter time, at 9.40 a.m, hitting an estimated 12,000 passengers. High-speed trains run the length of the country and carry thousands of passengers every day.
The company's engineers discovered a dead slug during a later inspection of the network's electrical equipment, measuring about 2 to 3 cm long.
A company spokesman told CNN that the slug had burned to death after touching an electrical cable leading to the mass power failure.
Although it was discovered on May 30, shortly after the outage, the reason for the disruption wasn't revealed for almost a month.
Local media first reported the unusual cause of the transport chaos on June 22.
The slug had got in through a gap in the power box, the US broadcaster quoted a JR Kyushu spokesman as saying.
"We have not heard of power outages caused by slugs in recent years," he said Monday.