BHP deliberately derailed a runaway Pilbara iron train carrying 268 wagons early today after it travelled 92km across the Pilbara without a driver. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said about 4am the driver of a loaded ore train travelling from Newman to Port Hedland alighted to inspect a wagon.
The bureau said the train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons, started to run away without the driver and with no one on board, travelling for 92km. BHP then stopped the train by deliberately derailing it at a set of points about 120 km from Port Hedland.
A BHP spokeswoman said no one was injured and the Pilbara miner has suspended all train operations. “We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation,” she said.
BHP declined to provide further details, saying the incident was under investigation. The ATSB conducts technical investigations for the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator.
A spokesman for the regulator said it had sent two investigators to the Pilbara to determine if there had been any breaches of the national rail safety laws.