BHP brought to a halt by runaway train

Billiton train in Western Australia

Billiton train in Western Australia

A runaway BHP iron ore train traveled for almost 60 miles before it was deliberately derailed on Monday, according to officials.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the driver had left the train - which had no passengers on board but was loaded with ore - about 4.40am on Monday to inspect a wagon when it started to move.

"A Western Australia iron ore train has been derailed near Turner River, en route to Port Hedland this morning", BHP said.

The train was travelling on BHP's Newman to Port Hedland line in the Pilbara region, a remote area. All train operations from the mine have been suspended as the incident is examined by officials.

Iron ore alone is responsible for nearly 40 percent of BHP's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITA).

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An investigation is underway after a BHP iron-ore train after a runaway train travelled 92km without a driver in WA.

It remains unclear what caused the train to take off by itself, but the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has already sent two experts to look into the matter.

"The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with a wagon", it said in a report.

A BHP spokeswoman told The West Australian no one was injured and authorities are investigating'.

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