Rail Regulator to investigate freight train crash


Queensland’s Rail Safety Regulator will undertake a full investigation into the derailment at Mingela, south-west of Townsville

Rail Regulator to investigate freight train crash
Rail Regulator to investigate freight train crash

March 26, 2013

Queensland’s Rail Safety Regulator will undertake a full investigation into
the derailment at Mingela, south-west of Townsville.

The incident, which occurred just after 7am on Sunday, involved a private freight train, allegedly owned by Aurizon, on its
way to Townsville from an Xstrata a foundry at Mt Isa.

Twenty one wagons
were derailed spilling zinc concentrate all over the tracks.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson says investigators arrived today on site to begin gathering evidence about the cause of the incident.

"This was a significant derailment and spill which needs a full investigation," Emerson says.

He hints required upgrades to the line might have contributed to the incident.

"The Mt Isa line has become one of the state’s most important freight routes and sections of it need upgrading as capacity grows beyond the current 100 trains a week," Emerson says.

"A plan to upgrade the line currently forms part of Queensland’s submission to the Federal Government’s Nation Building 2 program."

Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) Minister Andrew Powell adds the department's officers have also been on site working with Emergency Services to manage the spill and clean up.

"Officers from Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and representatives from my Department have been able to contain most of the material so that there’s no risk of environmental harm," Minister Powell says.

However early indications are that the clean-up may take a couple of days.

Buses have been arranged to transport passengers booked on the Inlander, which travels between Townsville and Mt Isa twice a week.

It is expected to take up to two weeks to reopen the line.

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