Workers lucky to be alive after automated Rio Tinto iron ore train derailment

Mining and Energy Union

Five rail crew workers have been left shaken after having to evacuate a broken-down train they were repairing after they received a mayday signal that an automated iron ore train was going to impact the rear of the train they were working on.

Mining and Energy Western Australian Secretary Greg Busson said that while the Union was relieved that no one was injured, workers had been left deeply concerned about what could have potentially occurred.

“If these workers were situated at the rear of the train at the time of the incident, we could have seen fatal outcomes.

“To say that there were no people in the vicinity of the incident is untrue.

“There were five people working on the broken-down train while the automated iron ore train was on course to collide with the stationary train.

“While we are thankful that workers were not at the rear of the train and had enough time and space to evacuate, we have been left disturbed.”

Five workers were undergoing a ‘train rescue’ operation after a train had broken down on the track further down the line prior to the collision.

Mr Busson said that the Union will be seeking a full explanation from Rio Tinto about why its so-called ‘fail-safe’ systems failed in this instance.

/Public Release.