Runaway mining train travels 90 kilometres without driver in Australia

Runaway Mining Train Travels 90 Kilometers Without Driver In Australia

Runaway Mining Train Travels 90 Kilometers Without Driver In Australia

Damage caused by a runaway iron ore train will hit BHP's sales this quarter, the mining group has admitted, as the first pictures of its mangled wreckage in Western Australia emerged.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's largest mining company, halted all train operations in Western Australia on Monday after it was forced to derail a runaway train in the Pilbara.

"Obviously it would have been very concerning for everyone involved - BHP and the workforce, and the people of Port Hedland - that a train was traveling down the track without a driver and obviously out of control", McGowan said.

One of BHP's customers in China, a steel producer, has, however, not yet received any notice from the miner.

'We have a long-term contract with BHP and we haven't received a notification so far, ' an official, who declined to be named, told the newswire. While the driver was outside the train, it took off with no one on board.

The miner suspended all of its rail operations on Monday after it derailed the iron ore train, damaging 1.5 kilometres of track and crushing numerous 268 fully-laden wagons in the process.

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.

BHP has not reported the matter to the Australian stock exchange as it is not expected to have a material impact on finances.

Australia's Transport Safety Bureau said on Monday that a probe into the derailment was underway. "We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation", BHP said.

"We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation".

BHP said around 1.5 kilometres of its privately-owned railway was destroyed, and expects it will take around a week to fix.

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