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TASRAIL has temporarily suspended the use of remote control technology on freight services after a runaway driverless train derailed in Devonport.
Two people were injured by flying debris when authorities deliberately derailed the freight train to bring it to a stop as it neared the heart of the city on Friday morning.
No one was on board the train, which was loaded with cement and was being operated by remote control from a loading yard — a method used for more than 15 years at Devonport.
TasRail yesterday announced it had suspended the use of all handheld remote controls on all freight services until an investigation into the incident is complete.
A careful recovery operation has begun to clear the damaged carriages, including four that are blocking a main freight line.
The company yesterday used cranes to lift the first of seven damaged carriages as workers unloaded the wagons to make them safer to move.
Train derailed in Devonport. Picture: CHRIS KIDD“TasRail is continuing to use vac trucks to extract product from the seven wagons remaining on the derailment site as safely as possible to reduce wagon weight so each wagon can be safely lifted by crane,” a spokeswoman said. The recovery team’s immediate focus is the four rear wagons that are blocking the main line.
Emergency crews tried desperately to warn the public about the runaway train on Friday before it left the tracks.
But two passers-by were hit by debris that went flying as the train crossed a walking track and crashed into fences near Devonport’s waterfront.
“We had all our police vehicles deployed with lights and sirens,” Police Inspector Stuart Wilkinson said on Friday.
A woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s suffered cuts and abrasions and both were transported to the North-West Regional Hospital.
This article first appeared on www.themercury.com.au
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