Caterpillars stop train in China

CHINA - Swarms of caterpillars invaded a section of a railway track in China, delaying a cargo train for three hours.

The train slowed down and then stopped after running over the insects on Monday.

Fu Jianguo, an officer with the railway police station in Wudan, said the caterpillars spread out over one kilometer of the track in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

He said the train started running again about three hours later after more than a dozen workers cleaned up the track with brooms and shovels.

"I've heard of caterpillars causing short circuits or stopping trains before, but have never actually seen such a thing," he said.

The caterpillars were probably trying to cross the railway track to seek more food, as they had already eaten up leaves on apricot trees on a hill on the eastern side of the track, he said.

Railway service returned to normal after the workers finished cleaning up the track, Fu said.

-China Daily/Asia News Network