Runaway train travels for 57 miles before being intentionally derailed

Trains are used to transport thousands of tons of iron ore through remote parts of Western Australia

Trains are used to transport thousands of tons of iron ore through remote parts of Western Australia More

A huge runaway train laden with iron ore had to be derailed remotely after speeding through the Australian outback for nearly an hour.

The train had been travelling from Newman to Port Hedland when the train driver got out to inspect a wagonat 4.40am onMonday and the train took off.

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

While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train started off down the track.

BHP's WA rail operations are expected to resume in about a week.

"We will be liaising with our customers in relation to our contractual commitments over this period", a BHP spokeswoman said.

But it took off without him, and a team of remote train operators in BHP's control room were forced to carry out an intentional derailment.

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

The company did not reported the matter to the Australian stock exchange as it is not expected to have a material impact on finances.

Damage caused by a runaway iron ore train will hit BHP's sales this quarter, the mining group has admitted, as the first pictures of its mangled wreckage in Western Australia emerged.

"We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation, however we are working with the appropriate authorities and our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations", the BHP spokeswoman said.

Separate investigations into the train derailment are being conducted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and BHP.

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