Australian ore train runs away, intentionally derailed

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PORT HEDLAND, Western Australia — An iron ore train ran away from its one-man crew on Nov. 5 and traveled more than 55 miles before it was purposely derailed, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Co. The loaded train with four diesel units and 268 cars was en route from the BHP ore mines at Newman to Port Hedland when the incident occurred.

The report said the train's engineer, the only person aboard, stepped off the train around 4:40 a.m. to inspect a car, and the train rolled away before he could climb back aboard. The Pilbara region, where both the runaway and the wreck took place, is a remote region with few settlements.

The BHP Remote Operations Center in Perth purposely derailed the train at a switch 50 minutes after the runaway was reported. The incident is being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which will interview the engineer as soon as possible. No one was injured, and BHP has suspended all rain operations while the investigation is underway.

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