Runaway mining train travels 90km without driver

Runaway mining train travels 90km without driver

Runaway mining train travels 90km without driver

Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, made a decision to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site, and flicked the points.

The train crashed off the rails but hurting no one.

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

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 Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was investigating Monday's incident.

The train had four locomotives and 268 wagons, the ATSB said.

"It's either human error - the driver forgot the handbrake - or it's a computer failing, where they lose control of their train". It averaged about 68 miles per hour and traveled for some 50 minutes before it was derailed, according to Australia's ABC. No-one was injured in the incident.

A spokeswoman said they could not speculate on the outcome of the investigation and they were working with authorities.

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The train had been travelling from Newman to Port Hedland when the train driver got out to inspect a wagonat 4.40am onMonday and the train took off.

Western Australia's premier, Mark McGowan, told ABC that it was clear "extraordinary measures" had been necessary.

The train was deliberately derailed at a series of points along the track.

One and a half kilometres of track were damaged in the incident, and the company expects its WA rail operations to reopen in a week.

Analysts think iron ore prices could see a short-term bump as a result of this derailment, according to the news service.

BHP will rely on stockpile reserves of iron ore at Port Headland to maintain its port operations.

Australia is one of the world's major sources of iron ore.

With rival mining giant Rio Tinto is already using completely driverless trains, there are claims automatic carriages may be a safer option.

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