Runaway Train Blazes Through Western Australia For More Than 50 Miles


The Australian mining giant was forced to derail the train after it ran away when the driver was out conducting an inspection.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating a November 5 incident in Western Australia where a BHP train loaded with iron ore traveled about 55 miles with no personnel on board.

With no one at the controls, the 3km long runaway train travelled for nearly an hour, at speeds of up to 110km/h, before it crashed about 210km south of Port Headland.

BHP said it will liaise with customers about its contractual commitments given the stockpile will not cover the entire period of disruption. Nobody was injured in the incident that happened in a remote area around 120 km south of the world's largest iron ore loading terminal in the country's northwest.

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.

BHP's shares closed 0.48 percent lower to Aus$33.39 (US$24.18) in Sydney Wednesday as reports in Britain said the Anglo-Australian firm was facing a £5 billion (US$6.5 billion) lawsuit over the deadly Samarco dam failure in Brazil in 2015.

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A runaway train with no one inside which hurtled through the Western Australia Pilbara region reached speeds of more than 150km/h before it was deliberately derailed.

After traveling about 55 miles, it was deliberately derailed by a company control center in Perth, according to ATSB.

The incident moved markets, as iron ore spot prices surged following news that BHP had suspended its rail operations in the wake of the crash.

"We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation", a BHP spokeswoman said.

'Our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations, ' the company said in a statement on Wednesday, ' the mining company said.

BHP will be questioned by the transport safety regulator.