Man killed in Cleveland mine gas explosion is named

One man has died after a gas explosion at Boulby mine in East Cleveland.
One man has died after a gas explosion at Boulby mine in East Cleveland.
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A man who died following a gas "blow-out" at one of Europe's deepest mines has been named by his employers.

John Anderson was killed in the underground blast in the early hours at the Boulby site in East Cleveland, which is famed for potash, a key ingredient in making fertiliser.

ICL UK confirmed the name of the employee, having earlier said he died following a blow-out - "a sudden and powerful release of gas".

All other employees were safely evacuated, the firm said.

Her Majesty's Mines Inspectorate has also been informed.

Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, who represents Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said Mr Anderson was a constituent.

He wrote on Twitter: "Thoughts & prayers with my constituent's family. Horrendous for any family to know their loved one will never return from work #boulby."

There was an underground fire at the mine in April, which left seven workers affected by smoke and they were taken to hospital for checks.

Last year, the company announced job losses in a "significant restructuring" of its operations, including moving from producing potash to Polysulphate fertiliser.

The mine is 1,400m deep and its tunnels go far out under the North Sea.

Cleveland Police were called at 5.20am and officers remain at the scene "working to understand the circumstances surrounding the incident", a spokeswoman said.

"Our thoughts are with family, friends and colleagues," she added.

The firm is due to hold a news conference later.