Belgian Rail in embarrassing camel story

The Belgian Rail company NMBS spread a particular message yesterday about delayed trains to Aywaille (Wallonia). The reason was said to be a camel on the loose that had reached the railtracks, the NMBS tweeted. It later turned out to be dead cat, which prompted the NMBS to sending an apology and a correction. "It was a warm day for everyone".

The first message about the camel was spread around noon. The official tweet said the delay 'could take up to 10 minutes' but not longer. The message triggered a lot of inspiration among social media users.

The situation could quickly be resolved: the animal was thought to have escaped from a nearby safari park, it could be read.

"What happened to the camel?" a reader asked. "It was returned to a nearby safari park." (...) "It doesn't always have to be a cow", the NMBS responded. Even climate change popped up: "Is the desert now conquering Belgium already?" a reader asked.

"Sorry, the camel we tweeted about was a dead cat"

However, it all turned out to be a big misunderstanding as the NMBS had made a blunder. It was all due to a confusion of tongues: the NMBS apparently received a French message about "un chat mort" (a dead cat) but interpreted it as "un chameau" (a camel).

The NMBS tweet account sent a message later in the day to correct things. "It was a warm day for everyone! The camel that we tweeted about was a dead cat" Belgian Rail wrote. The pun was continued in Dutch as a reader invented the word "katmeel", a combination of kat (cat) and kameel (camel), a catmel in other words.