Emergency services at the scene today. VIDEO: ATLAS

Three feared dead after landslide at potash mine in Barcelona


The victims, all geologists, were trapped by a landslide in a gallery some 900-metres underground in the town of Súria

Cristian Reino


Thursday, 9 March 2023, 19:27


Three people are believed to have died this Thursday, 9 March, as a result of an accident inside the gallery of a potash mine in the town of Súria in the province of Barcelona. At around 8.55 am, emergency services were alerted to the incident.

A landslide inside a gallery at the potassium salts mine trapped the geologists, who are feared to have died in the accident. According to the first reports, the landslide happened at a depth of 900 metres, but the cause is unknown.

The mine is owned by the ICL Iberia company. It was initially feared that there could be more people trapped, but the company has ruled it out. The emergency services are working to recover the three victims.

At first, it was reported that they were company miners, but shortly afterwards it emerged that those feared dead were three geologists, who were carrying out topographic and safety prospecting work. Two were students of the UPC Manresa master's degree course, the university itself confirmed, and the third was an intern. He had been working there for a very short time, barely a week.

The Minister of the Interior of the Generalitat regional government, Joan Ignasi Elena, visited the mine, together with the Minister of Business, Roger Torrent. Elena did not want to confirm the identity of the victims and would not even confirm their deaths. Elena said it would not be prudent until rescue services can reach the bodies, which will take hours, "but we fear the worst, it will be slow to reach them, the area is difficult to access. Elena confirmed that the rest of the mine employees had been safely evacuated. Torrent said that the last review at the mine was carried out three weeks ago and that no failings were detected that would lead to the opening of a file.

It is not the first fatal accident at the potash mine. Ten years ago, two miners died when the roof of the gallery where they were working collapsed.

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