BHP expects derailed train to impact its Australian iron ore exports

Wagons and ore cover the track

Wagons and ore cover the track

In a statement, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said: 'The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with a wagon.

The 268 wagon train was intentionally derailed about 5.30am on Monday, after it travelled 92km without a driver on the Newman to Port Headland rail line in Western Australia.

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

"Had it been closer to a built up area another train coming from another area, so many possibilities that are dangers and hazard I'm just glad it happened where it did", the CFMEU's Greg Busson said.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said damage to the train was substantial and it is estimated about 1.5km of track was damaged.

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.

Industry specialists were confused about why the train would have run away down the tracks.

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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.

After traveling about 55 miles, it was deliberately derailed by a company control center in Perth, according to ATSB.

"Investors are keeping one eye on the developments in the Pilbara after BHP announced it had halted all rail operations", ANZ bank said in a report.

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

On Wednesday, the company also said in a statement it can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation.

"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", a BHP spokeswoman said today.

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