Four miners had to be rescued after a fire broke out at the Boliden Garpenberg Mine near Borlange in central Sweden at around 9.30 pm local time (7.30 pm GMT) on Sunday 11 August 2013. Thirty workers were reportedly underground at the time when the fire broke out, twenty six of whom were able to evacuate safely. The remaining four were trapped by the fire, which reportedly started when a vehicle caught fire 800 m bellow the surface, and instead made their way to a safe area to await rescue. The miners were all removed safely from the mine by 11.00 pm.
A vehicle in use in the Garpenberg Mine. Boliden.
The Garpenberg Mine produces zinc, copper, lead, gold and silver and has been operated by Boliden since 1957, though mining has taken place in the area since the thirteenth century, Boliden began a major expansion of operations at the mine in 2011, which it hopes to complete in 2015, raising production from around 1.4 million tons of ore per year to an estimated 2.5 million tonnes per year. The mine is equipped with modern safety chambers, which are secure areas with their own air and water supplies and telephone lines to the surface.
Illustration showing the layout of the Garpenberg Mine. Boliden.
See also Chile closes inquiry into 2010 mine collapse, Worker dies at Saskatchewan potash mine, Another worker killed in fresh Grasberg Mine cave in, 23 Miners still trapped after cave-in at gold and copper mine in Indonesian West Papua and Miner killed by gas on Mindanao Island.
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