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

Mining giant BHP which owns the four-locomotive train decided to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site and flicked the points

The train began its getaway when the driver stepped off to inspect a wagon.

A huge runaway train laden with iron ore had to be derailed remotely after speeding through the Australian outback for nearly an hour.

The train, comprising 268 wagons stretching nearly two miles in length, was carrying up to 35,000 tonnes of iron ore worth about $2 million when the driver alighted to inspect an issue with a wagon and the train moved off without him.

One and a half kilometres of track were damaged in the incident, and the company expects its WA rail operations to reopen in a week.

The incident moved markets, as iron ore spot prices surged following news that BHP had suspended its rail operations in the wake of the crash.

The Guardian reports the footage shows the twisted wreckage of the two-kilometre long train, some carriages partly buried under mounds of iron ore.

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BHP said yesterday it planned to use its stockpile reserves at the port in order to maintain supply over the coming days.

Australia is one of the world's major sources of iron ore. "We've got no reason why we have to change the contracts and agreements we have with existing customers", he said, following the company' annual general meeting in Adelaide.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said damage to the train was substantial and it is estimated about 1.5km of track was damaged.

More than 130 workers have been deployed to fix the track and recover the wreckage, with BHP saying it would be removed "over the next few days".

Nineteen people were killed and a wave of toxic waste was unleashed when an dam burst at the mine in one of Brazil's worst environmental disasters.

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