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Tiny slug to blame for Japanese rail outage

By Ben Hooper
Tiny slug to blame for Japanese rail outage
A Japanese rail operator said a lone slug was to blame for an outage that caused delays to an estimated 12,000 passengers. Photo by Michel_van_der_Vegt/Pixabay.com

June 25 (UPI) -- A Japanese rail operator said the cause of a power failure that led to delays for 12,000 passengers was identified as a tiny slug.

Rail operator JR Kitakyushu said an investigation into the May 30 outage in Japan's southern Kyushu region, which caused delays for about 12,000 passengers and led to 26 trains being canceled for the day, determined the cause was a slug that found its way into some sensitive equipment.

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Officials said the slug came into contact with an electrical cable, burning the mollusk and causing the power to fail.

A spokesman said the slug had squeezed through a gap in what was supposed to be a secure box.

"We have not heard of power outages caused by slugs in recent years," the spokesman told CNN.

"If we find such a gap when inspecting equipment [in the future], we will fix them."

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