Seven workers taken to hospital after underground fire at North York Moors potash mine

The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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SEVEN workers have been taken to hospital after a fire underground at one of Europe’s deepest mines, in the North York Moors.

The incident happened this morning at the ICL Boulby mine, three miles north of Staithes, which is famed for its potash, an important ingredient in producing fertilisers.

The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

An investigation is under way into what caused the fire in the early hours of Wednesday.

A spokesman said emergency services and the mine’s rescue team tackled the fire.

“The fire has now been extinguished and all workers in the mine at the time of the incident were located and brought to the surface,” he said.

“Seven workers affected by smoke have been taken to hospital for checks.

The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The scene at the potash Mine in Boulby, near Whitby, this morning. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

“HM Inspectorate of Mines are at the mine and the company will be working with them in carrying out a full investigation into the incident.

“Mining operations have been suspended today.”

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

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