At least four people have been killed after an explosion at a Norilsk Nickel mine in northern Russia, the company said in a statement Friday.
Several employees sustained injuries after the accident on Friday morning, the company said, adding that the mine had been evacuated and first aid administered.
“We are carrying out the necessary rescue operations and investigating the cause of the accident,” Sergey Gradyushko, the deputy director of health and safety of the company’s Polar Division, said. “The victims received the necessary assistance.”
The explosion occurred at 10 a.m. local time at the Zapolyarny mine outside Norilsk and was suspected to be the result of a build-up of methane gas, the company said in its statement.
Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest nickel producer. According to the Financial Times, its Zapolyarny mine accounted for 0.7 percent of the company’s total nickel production last year and 2 percent of its copper production.