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BHP reaches an undisclosed settlement with the driver who was outside the cabin when his fully-laden iron ore train took off unmanned and was deliberately derailed 120 kilometres south of Port Hedland.
The fully-laden train, pulling 268 wagons of iron ore, was travelling from Newman to Port Hedland in November 2018 when the driver, Peter Frick, got out to inspect a wagon near Hester Siding.
While Mr Frick was out of the cabin, the train took off, travelling more than 90 kilometres in 50 minutes.
The train, made up of four locomotives, was eventually derailed at a set of points at Turner's Siding, about 120km south of Port Hedland.
The derailment was orchestrated from BHP's integrated remote operations centre in Perth, about 1,500km away.
The 63-year-old driver was fired just before Christmas.
The company said at the time that Mr Frick had not engaged the emergency brake.
BHP iron ore president Edgar Basto said in November initial findings had shown the train had stopped automatically after a braking system control cable became disconnected.
Mr Frick was then asked to carry out an inspection and the train started to move.
"Our initial findings show that the emergency brake for the entire train was not engaged as required by the relevant operating procedures," Mr Basto said at the time.
"The electric braking system that initially stopped the train automatically released after an hour while the driver was still outside.
"Due to integration failure of the backup braking system, it was not able to deploy successfully."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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