BHP derails runaway train in Pilbara

A BHP iron ore train has derailed in the Pilbara region of Western Australia while attempting to deliver an iron ore shipment from Newman to Port Hedland.

The train crashed off the rails but hurting no one.

BHP deliberately derailed the train following a runaway incident where the train took off while the driver had left the cabin to investigate an issue.

The train, operated by Melbourne-based minerals, oil and gas company BHP, had made a stop on its way to northwest Australia's Port Hedland. "The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with an ore auto", the Australian Transport Safety Bureau stated.

The crumpled wreckage of the train now remains at a location 119km from Port Hedland, where a BHP control centre remotely removed it from the tracks after 50 minutes of deliberations. The ATSB has launched an investigation into Monday's incident. It averaged about 68 miles per hour and traveled for some 50 minutes before it was derailed, according to Australia's ABC. It had been travelling from Newman to Port Hedland when the driver got out at a siding to inspect an issue with an ore auto, before the train started moving again.

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The train was deliberately derailed at a series of points along the track. "There would have been a procedure in place to make sure the train didn't move off".

BHP has told Bloomberg that it "estimated that about 1.5 kilometers of track has been damaged and anticipates the recovery process to take about one week".

BHP's iron ore operations have since been suspended as a result of the derailment, but the company has said it has enough in stockpiles to continue production around the state.

However, it said, operations would be maintained and the use of reserves would mean there would be no interruption to supply.

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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