The driver left his post to check up on one of the wagons, when suddenly the train took off without him and drove towards Port Hedland.
A train loaded with iron ore and operated by BHP ran away without a driver for 57 miles (92km) before being forcibly derailed, the company and Australian authorities have said.
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The ATSB, which is also investigating the incident, said the damage to the train was substantial.
The train, consisting of four locomotives, had to be deliberately derailed along the Newman to Port Headland on Monday morning.
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The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is looking into the incident, but says its investigation won't be complete until the second quarter of next year. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to runaway. BHP said that the train began to move unmanned at 4.40am and was stopped about 50 minutes later, implying it had travelled at more than 100km/h with...
Iron ore alone is responsible for nearly 40 percent of BHP's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITA).
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The train, operated by BHP Billiton, took off after the driver got off to inspect an issue with one of the 268 wagons.