Second Australian iron-ore train derailed in less than a week

BHP Billiton Iron Ore GE CM40-8M no. 5650 Yawata (left) and EMD SD70ACe no. 4352 Lightning (right) at the head of a loaded train at Boodarie, near Port Hedland. Photo by Bahnfrend, Wikimedia Commons.

Australia’s iron-ore industry was hit with a second train derailment in a week when 30 empty ore wagons ran off the tracks in the southern part of Western Australia on Sunday.

The second derailment happened at 7:30 a.m. Perth time south of Norseman as an ore train returned from the southern coastal port town of Esperance, Mineral Resources Ltd. and Arc Infrastructure said in a statement Sunday. No one was injured and MRL locomotives pulling the ore wagons were not damaged. The track is closed.

BHP Group’s Western Australian rail operations restarted Saturday night after the world’s third-biggest iron ore exporter was forced to derail a runaway train on Nov. 5.

BHP suspended rail operations in the north of the state after it deliberately derailed the train loaded with iron ore in the outback desert as it headed for Port Hedland. Trains are now running again with additional controls in place to ensure safe operations, a company spokesperson said Sunday in an emailed statement.

No one was injured in the BHP derailment.

“The regulator has been informed,” BHP said in the statement. “We won’t speculate on the cause of the incident while the regulatory investigation is ongoing.”

(Reporting by Jim Jia).

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