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Mineral Resources Limited and Arc Infrastructure have confirmed that about 30 empty iron ore wagons derailed south of Norseman on Sunday morning, following the deliberate derailment of a runaway BHP train in the state's north earlier in the week.
The derailment happened at 5.30am Monday.CREDIT:IMGUR
The MRL locomotive was travelling from Esperance to an iron ore mine in Koolyanobbing around 7.30am when the derailment occurred.
No one was injured, however damage was caused to the wagons and a section of the Noresman to Esperance track.
A statement provided by MRL to Fairfax read, initial investigations the derailment indicated that "all safe train operating procedures were followed at all times".
"A detailed investigation has commenced to confirm the cause of derailment but, at this stage, it appears that localised heavy rains and flash flooding washed out some ballast from under a small section of the track," it read.
"The focus now is on safely clearing the site and rebuilding the damaged section of the track."
As the incident occurred, BHP's iron ore rail services were getting back up and running after one of the multibillion-dollar mining company's train was deliberately derailed on route to Port Hedland.
The runaway BHP train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons filled with iron ore, has caused headaches ever since last week's derailment.
The incident meant a substantial clean-up bill for BHP operations, and a disruption to iron ore shipments out of WA.
On Sunday, a BHP spokeswoman said the service was now back on track.
"The wreckage from the site was cleared from the tracks on Friday and track repair work is progressing well," she said.
"Rail operations recommenced last night with additional controls in place to ensure safe operations.”
A regulatory investigation is ongoing, and controls on board the trains have been risk assessed.
The investigation will attempt to understand what happened after the driver left the train to inspect an issue with an ore car.
While the driver was off the train, it began moving. Every safety mechanism on the train failed as it hurtled driverless through the Pilbara desert.
Over 50 minutes, it travelled 92 kilometres at an average speed of 110km/h.
Finally, at 5.30am, BHP's remote operations centre in Perth deliberately derailed it near Turner’s Siding, an isolated section of the track 120km south of Port Hedland.
This article first appeared on www.watoday.com.au
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