Runaway Train Blazes Through Western Australia For More Than 50 Miles

  • Runaway Train Blazes Through Western Australia For More Than 50 Miles

Runaway Train Blazes Through Western Australia For More Than 50 Miles

The driver was inspecting an issue with the train when the locomotive ran away, according to the company.

Global miner BHP Billiton BHP.AX BLT.L expects its operations in western Australia to take around a week to recover after a almost 3-km long train loaded with iron ore enroute to the coast for export was forcibly derailed on Monday.

It was reported that the train was travelling at an average speed of more than 100 km/h on its solo journey.

BHP said it will liaise with customers about its contractual commitments given the stockpile will not cover the entire period of disruption.

The miner said its normal train operations remain suspended, estimating that around 1.5 km of train track were damaged.

Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, chose to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site, and flicked the points. While the driver was outside the train, it took off with no one on board.

BHP's shares were trading 1.21 percent lower at AUD 33.14 in Sydney Wednesday amid reports in Britain that the Anglo-Australian firm was facing a GBP 5 billion (USD 6.5 billion) lawsuit over the deadly Samarco dam failure in Brazil in 2015.

It hurtled along the company's Newman to Port Hedland line in the remote Pilbara region for about 50 minutes until it was deliberately derailed at a set of points near Turner, about 120km south of the port town.

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

On Wednesday, the company also said in a statement it can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation.

'We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation, ' a BHP spokesperson said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the National Rail Safety Regulator had been informed and was investigating.