Runaway mining train in Australia travels 90km without driver

Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage

WATCH: The mangled wreckage of BHP's runaway train which derailed in Western Australia

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.

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

The 268-wagon train began its solo journey when the driver got down to carry out inspection, and was soon moving at up to 110 km per hour.

"There was no hesitation in derailing that train because it posed a safety risk down the track", Port Hedland Mayor Camillo Blanco said.

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BHP has suspended all rail operations in Western Australia after a runaway train laden with iron ore travelled 92km with no one on board before it was deliberately derailed.

The miner suspended all of its rail operations on Monday after it derailed the iron ore train, damaging 1.5 kilometres of track and crushing numerous 268 fully-laden wagons in the process.

It was deliberately derailed by a company control center in Perth, according to ATSB, which reported that it expects to complete this investigation in the second quarter of 2019.

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

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BHP has told Bloomberg that it "estimated that about 1.5 kilometers of track has been damaged and anticipates the recovery process to take about one week".

The interruption to the train line could be particularly costly for the mining company - given that it's the main way to deliver ore from its Pilbara mines to Port Hedland.

Australia is one of the world's major sources of iron ore. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to run away.

BHP has large iron ore stockpiles at port, so it is unlikely any scheduled shipments will be missed.

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