Management at mine owner LKAB, the Swedish state mining company had confirmed on Saturday night that one person was feared dead after the collapse earlier in the evening, according to local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten. The victim had been in a truck before the mine collapsed.
“It is a man employed with a subcontractor that we fear has died,” said LKAB information officer Anders Lindberg to DN.se.
Harry Rantakyrö of the Gruvtolvan union is critical of the security at the mine.
“We have received indications from those working underground that this would happen. We have called attention to the need for a review of mining methods,” Rantakyrö said to Swedish Radio.
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 worked through the night on Saturday to try to reach the trapped miner. The work had been 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.