BHP runaway train derailment leaves miner flagging iron ore shortfall amid clean-up

08 November, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage

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.

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.

However, it said, operations would be maintained and the use of reserves would mean there would be no interruption to supply.

The vehicle, which had no one on board but carrying iron ore, consisted of four locomotives and 268 wagons, according to ATSB's statement.

"We will be liaising with our customers in relation to our contractual commitments over this period", she added.

A Perth remote control centre 1,500km away carried out the derailment at 5.30am.

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Vision of the wreckage showed the force of the impact caused many wagons to be crushed or tipped over, with others shunted off the track.

BHP said recovering the train and fixing the track - a key access route for the enormous mining facility - will take around a week.

The miner is yet to indicate how much the derailment and subsequent disruption is expected to cost, although analysts have suggested it could run into the tens of millions of dollars.

The incident moved markets, as iron ore spot prices surged following news that BHP had suspended its rail operations in the wake of the crash.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was investigating Monday's incident.

The ATSB said it expected to finish its investigation by the second quarter of 2019.

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