Mining accident with three worker deaths 'unpredictable,' says internal report

Trade union against company's conclusions as it argues it had been alerted to ceiling issue

Police officers and workers beside the Súria mine
Police officers and workers beside the Súria mine / Nia Escolà

ACN | @agenciaacn | Súria

April 26, 2023 12:49 PM

April 26, 2023 01:15 PM

The mining accident in which three workers died on March 9 in the Cabanasses potash mine in Súria, central Catalonia, was "unpredictable," according to a report made by ICL Iberia, the company in charge of the mine.

"There was no sign that the ceiling was unstable where it collapsed," said Patricio Chacana, the company's CEO, on Tuesday evening.

Yet, he did acknowledge an "error" had been reported prior to the incident as the staff on the night shift did warn of an incident very close to the site of the accident, around 8 meters away, but this information did not reach the three young geologists who died.

"This is an issue to work on. The chain of communication was cut," Chacana said.

CCOO trade union reacted to the report on Wednesday by saying the events could be considered "unpredictable" taking into account "the warning of an issue with the ceiling only 8 meters from the accident."

The entity called on ICL to be "more careful" with their conclusions and said they will consider writing their own report in the future. They are also scheduled to meet with the general direction of Catalan mines.

Two of the victims were master's students at UPC in Manresa, and the third was an intern at ICL Iberia. All three were geologists in their late twenties or early thirties. The three were buried under a 1.9-tonne rock 800 meters underground.