BHP derails runaway train in Pilbara

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The mangled wreckage of a deliberately derailed runaway iron ore train in Western Australia's Pilbara region has been revealed in video footage from the crash site.

Port Hedland is the world's largest iron ore exporting terminal, used by BHP as well as other miners.

Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, made a decision to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site, and flicked the points.

BHP's rail operations in Western Australia have now been suspended. "We've got no reason why we have to change the contracts and agreements we have with existing customers", he said, following the company' annual general meeting in Adelaide.

According to Reuters, one of BHP's customers in China, a steel producer, has not yet received any notice from the miner.

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.

That's when things went south, according to the safety bureau: "While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to runaway".

There was no indication of what had caused the train to move without its driver.

"With no one on board, the train traveled for 92 km before being deliberately derailed at a set of points operated by the control center, about 119 km from Port Headland".

In a statement, the company said "material logistics" to enable fix of the track were "well advanced", with more workers expected to be assigned as the work progressed.

BHP's WA rail operations are expected to resume in about a week. "We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation", BHP said.

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

BHP will be questioned by the transport safety regulator.

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