Runaway train purposely derailed in Aussie outback

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 8 Nov 2018

A huge runaway train laden with iron ore had to be derailed remotely after speeding through the Australian outback for nearly an hour.

The 268-wagon train started on its solo journey when the driver got down from his cab to carry out an inspection, and was soon hurtling along at up to 110 kilometers per hour.

Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, decided to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site.

The train crashed off the rails, damaging about 1,500 meters of tracks, but injuring no one. Aerial images published by The West Australian showed a trail of twisted wreckage after Monday's incident.

BHP said yesterday more than 130 people were working to recover the train and fix the track - a key access route for the enormous mining facility - with partial rail operations expected to start up again in about a week.

The mine sites were still running and reserves would be used to maintain port operations.

"However, they are not expected to cover the entire period of interruption," a BHP spokeswoman said. "We will be liaising with our customers in relation to our contractual commitments over this period."

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was probing the incident. There was no indication of what had caused the train to move without its driver.

"We cannot speculate on the outcome of the investigation. However, we are working with the appropriate authorities, and our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations," the BHP spokeswoman said.

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