Driver, 63, fired after causing the ‘world’s biggest train crash’ that cost BHP $50 million sues claiming he was unfairly dismissed
- The driver, 63, was sacked in December and claims he was unfairly dismissed
- Driver left cabin of train for a safety inspection, only to see it set off unattended
- Train then had to be forcibly derailed, with the damage said to be ‘in the millions’
The driver who caused the ‘world’s biggest train crash’ in November last year has sued BHP, claiming he was unfairly dismissed.
The man, 63, left the cabin of the train bound for Port Hedland in Western Australia for a safety inspection, only to see the 3km long iron ore train set off unattended in the remote Pilbara region.
Incredibly, the train travelled for almost 100km at high speed before it was forcibly derailed.
According to expert analysts, Channel 9 reported in November last year the total damage from the runaway freight train could be as high at $50 million.
Aerial footage shows the damage caused to the tracks when the 268 wagon train was deliberately derailed
The train driver was sacked by global mining company BHP on December 18 and then had an appeal dismissed on December 28.
Tim Kucera, the driver’s lawyer working on behalf of Turner Freeman, said BHP needs to acknowledge their role in the incident, where no one was injured.
‘It is a classic case of ‘have an accident, blame the worker not the system’, he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Essentially what we will be saying is that the decision to dismiss was unfair for a raft of reasons not least of which was blaming the worker for the accident when there were significant issues with the systems, [over which he had no control].’
A spokesperson from BHP confirmed the fly in fly out driver from Adelaide was sacked in December.
‘The driver is no longer employed by the company,’ they said.
‘Out of respect for the individual and their privacy we are unable to provide further information.’
A massive loaded iron ore train has been derailed after it travelled a staggering 92km without a driver (stock image of a Pilbara iron ore train)
The 268 wagon train was intentionally derailed about 5.30am on Monday, after it travelled 92km without a driver on the Newman to Port Headland rail line in Western Australia
In a statement at the time, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said: ‘The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with a wagon. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to runaway.
‘With no one on board, the train travelled for 92 km before being deliberately derailed at a set of points operated by the control centre, about 119 km from Port Headland (near Turner siding).’