Snake on train: 450 passengers evacuated

Not what you expect to see as you're reading the paper. This non-venomous snake caused commuter chaos AFP

A 50-centimetre snake on a Swiss passenger train caused chaos on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of all 450 passengers as police hunted for the reptile.

This content was published on April 2, 2014 - 16:01 and agencies

Commuters boarding the 7.34am train from Bern to Basel spotted the snake – which turned out to be non-venomous – in a carriage and alerted staff, who in turn called the police, said Donatella Del Vecchio, spokeswoman for Swiss Railways.

“All 450 passengers on the train were evacuated,” she told AFP news agency, adding that they were transferred to another train that left around half an hour later.

A passenger had most likely brought the snake on board, Del Vecchio said, ruling out the possibility it made its way onto the train on its own.

Police finally caught the snake in a ventilation shaft, Bern police said in a statement.

Switzerland is home to eight types of snake, of which two are venomous (the asp viper and the European viper). These can give nasty, but not fatal, bites.

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