3 young geologists confirmed dead in Spanish mine collapse

Three young geologists were killed in a potash mine collapse in the Spanish province of Barcelona on Thursday, Catalan authorities confirmed.

Pere Aragones, the region’s president, told reporters that the victims were all around 30 or younger and the government will open an investigation to determine the cause of the “tragic accident.”

Catalan firefighters rushed to the scene early morning after they said a landslide occurred inside the mine at a depth of 900 meters (2953 feet), just before 9 a.m local time (0800GMT).

After a complicated rescue mission that took several hours, the bodies were finally recovered, said Aragones.

In a now deleted tweet from before the victims were confirmed, the dean of The Technical University of Catalonia in Manresa said two of the victims were in the process of earning their master’s degrees.

The Suria mine is one of the two potash mines in Spain. The other, the Sallent mine, is located nearby and is operated by the same company — ICL Iberia Suria & Sallent (IBP).

The company, previously Iberpotash, was acquired by the Israeli ICL Group in the early 2000s.

ICL Iberia produces all of Spain’s potash, exporting 80% of its production to countries in the EU, Asia and the Americas.

In 2013, two miners died after the same mine collapsed.

A mine safety employee who identified himself as Carlos told reporters on the scene that the mine gallery that collapsed was relatively new.

He added that one of the geologists was an intern, but the other two had been at the company for a while.

“It could have been any of us,” he said, explaining that they died carrying out routine tasks.

Source: Anadolu Agency