MADRID (AP) — Three workers died after becoming trapped deep underground in a potash mine in northeastern Spain on Thursday, firefighters said.
The three were working at the Cabanasses de Súria mine around 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Barcelona. Firefighters in Spain’s Catalonia region confirmed the deaths, after police said earlier that land collapsed inside the mine just before 9 a.m. (0800 GMT; 3 a.m. EST).
The collapse occurred at a depth of 900 meters (nearly 3,000 feet), according to the firefighters.
The mine is operated by the Iberpotash company, and owned by Tel Aviv-based ICL Group, which didn’t immediately comment.
Around 20,000 people work in Spain’s mining sector, according to Energy Ministry statistics, a figure that has halved in the last two decades.
Between 2016 and 2021, the last year for which statistics were available, an average of four workers died annually in Spain’s mining sector.
Catalan regional president Pere Aragonès offered his condolences to the families affected, describing the incident as a “tragic accident.”