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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Snake on a train in Swiss alert
A Swiss train has been taken out of service after a pet snake escaped from its owner and hid in a carriage, a local train company has said.

Experts have so far failed to catch the reptile, which vanished on Saturday, said Eric Luthy, a spokesman for the Neuchatel Regional Transport company.

Mr Luthy said the snake had crawled into the inner roof of a carriage.

He said the snake was not poisonous but could easily scare passengers if the train was put back into service.

A team of reptile experts has been trying to lure the snake - believed to be about one metre long (3ft) - out of its hiding place by using rats and mice as a bait - but so far all the attempts failed.

"We're looking into various detection methods, like scanners, given that infra-red devices won't work as the snake is a cold-blooded animal," Mr Luthy told Bloomberg news agency.

The train company operates in western Switzerland.




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