Miner feared dead after collapse

One person is feared dead after a collapse in a mine in Kiruna, northern Sweden. The search for the missing person was being hampered on Saturday night by concern over the risk of further collapses. The collapse is believed to have been caused by an earth tremor.

Management at mine owner LKAB, the Swedish state mining company confirmed on Saturday night that one person was feared dead after the collapse earlier in the evening, according to local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten. The supposed victim had been in a truck before the mine collapsed.

“We don’t know whether the driver was in or out [of the truck] when it happened. My information is that quite a lot of material landed on the truck,” said Harry Rantakyrö of the Gruvtolvan union.

The accident occurred at about 8pm, 700 metres below ground. LKAB says that about 70 people were working in the mine at the time of the collapse.

Rescue workers were working through the night on Saturday to try to reach the trapped miner. The work was being hampered by the risk of further collapses.

“When you have have a large seismic event of this kind it is likely that more of the mountain is damaged and could be loose. This needs to be secured before we can allow people to work in the area,” said Christina Dahnér, operations manager for mining engineering at LKAB.

The tremor was felt in nearby towns:

“I felt it myself in the apartment block I live in,” said Rantakyrö.

LKAB officials say only a small part of the mine were affected, and staff were able to continue to move around the facility following the incident.