Mouse stops bullet trains
TOKYO, Japan -- All services were halted on one of Japan's super-fast bullet train lines after a mouse reportedly triggered off a power cut.
"It appears that a mouse got into a switchboard at one of the stations and caused a short circuit," a spokesman for East Japan Railway told Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
The power failure, which occurred at around 4:15 a.m. (1915 GMT), halted services on a line to northern Japan for nearly an hour.
"Given the amount of electricity involved, it's safe to say that the mouse is probably no longer alive," the spokesman said.
While no figures were available on just how many passengers were affected by the mouse encounter, bullet trains in the eastern Honshu and Tokyo area alone carry more than 16 million passengers a day.
Black animal hairs
The mouse incident is the latest in a series of deadly encounters with Japan's Shinkansen or bullet trains, which cruise at 168 miles per hour.
Just last month, thousands of Shinkansen passengers were delayed when the driver brought a train to a screeching halt after hearing a "funny noise" under his seat.
Central Japan Railway officials told Japan's Asahi.com they think the noise was caused by the train hitting a raccoon dog, or tanuki, in Aichi Prefecture.
Twenty Shinkansen runs were delayed, affecting 15,000 passengers, and after a fruitless search the driver of the Shin-Osaka-bound train took off again after 40 minutes
On reaching Nagoya Station a more thorough search turned up some black animal hairs, attributed to the late raccoon dog, train officials said.
See related sites about World
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
WORLD TOP STORIES:
Blix: 'Iraq could do more'
N. Korea warns of nuclear conflict
Serb hardliner refuses to plead
NASA: Flight-deck video found
Caracas tense after bombs
|Back to the top|