Economy

Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage

Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was investigating the incident.

The train travelled for 90 km by itself before being derailed near Turner, approximately 120km south of Port Hedland, leaving about 1.5km of track damaged.

It was deliberately derailed at a set of points, operated by a control centre, about 119km from Port Hedland.

MELBOURNE, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Mining giant BHP Billiton expects some interruption to its Australian iron ore exports after a almost 3-km-long train loaded with the commodity was forcibly derailed this week after running away en route to a key shipping hub.

The BHP-operated train, which included four locomotives and 268 wagons of ore, travelled 92km with no one on board before it was stopped by being remotely derailed after 50 minutes.

"Had it been closer to a built up area another train coming from another area, so many possibilities that are dangers and hazard I'm just glad it happened where it did", the CFMEU's Greg Busson said.

The train was traveling on BHP's rail line from Newman to Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

'We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation, ' a BHP spokesperson said.

There was no indication of what had caused the train to move without its driver.

"Usually, once the driver leaves the train, the brakes are on, there's procedures for that", Rail Safety Consulting Australia owner Phillip Barker told ABC.

The company earlier this week warned its stockpiles of iron ore - a key steelmaking ingredient - were insufficient to cover the anticipated period of disruption, and BHP would need to liaise with its customers on its contractual commitments.

BHP Billiton said it had suspended all its iron ore rail operations in Western Australia on Monday after the incident.

In July rival mining giant Rio Tinto clocked up a world first when its maiden driverless train voyage carried 28,000 tonnes of iron ore 280 kilometres from its Mount Tom Price mine to a WA port.



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