Snake wrapped around armrest halts Japanese bullet train

Snake wrapped around armrest halts Japanese bullet train

A passenger spotted a snake curled around the armrest of another person's seat on a Japanese Shinkansen "bullet" train on Monday, forcing the train to make an unscheduled stop.

The train's operator, JR Tokai, or Central Japan Railway, said the passenger sitting in the reserved seat was unaware that the snake was wrapped around his armrest for about 50 minutes until the person behind him saw it and notified a conductor.

Experts suspected the snake may have been brought on to the train accidentally in someone's luggage or with maintenance equipment.

The 30cm-snake, initially thought to be a small type of python, was later identified as a rat snake after police consulted with a local zoo, according to Japanese media.

No one was injured in the incident.

Railway spokesman Atsuo Utano said the train crew made an announcement asking if anyone had lost a pet snake and informing passengers of an unscheduled stop, but nobody came forward.

The super-express train made a stop at Hamamatsu station about 25 minutes later, and railway police removed the snake and the train departed in about one minute, Mr Utano said.

He said the train arrived in Hiroshima, its destination, on time.

The snake incident was not the first on the high-speed bullet train line. Five years ago, a train crew spotted a snake on an unoccupied seat, according to the railway.

More in this Section

Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’

Independent Scotland could be an investment magnet, Nicola Sturgeon to sayIndependent Scotland could be an investment magnet, Nicola Sturgeon to say

Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’Widely available drug ‘could reduce deaths from head injury’

Protests erupt as Spain convicts leading Catalan separatistsProtests erupt as Spain convicts leading Catalan separatists


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner