Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage

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Nellie Chapman | 09 November, 2018, 04:37

The driver of the BHP-operated train got out to inspect an issue with one of its 268 wagons early yesterday and it took off without him, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says.

MELBOURNE, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Mining giant BHP Billiton expects some interruption to its Australian iron ore exports after a almost 3-km-long train loaded with the commodity was forcibly derailed this week after running away en route to a key shipping hub.

The train was travelling at an average speed of 110 kilometres per hour before the derailment at Turner, 120 kilometres south of Port Headland.

"Had it been closer to a built up area another train coming from another area, so many possibilities that are dangers and hazard I'm just glad it happened where it did", the CFMEU's Greg Busson said.

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.

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.

BHP has confirmed the delays will mean there won't be enough iron ore stockpiled at a West Australian port to cover scheduled shipments in the upcoming week.

The world's biggest mining company said that it was working to fix a stretch of track nearly a mile long that was damaged when the train was forcibly derailed after speeding 57 miles without a driver through the Australian outback early on Monday morning.

Industry specialists were confused about why the train would have run away down the tracks. BHP expects the recovery to take about a week.

"We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation. We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation", BHP said.

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