A man has died following a gas “blow-out” at one of Europe’s deepest mines.
The emergency services and the mine’s rescue team are working at the scene at Boulby in East Cleveland, famed for potash which is a key ingredient in making fertiliser.
ICL UK said the employee died following a blow-out – “a sudden and powerful release of gas” in the early hours.
All other employees were safely evacuated, the firm said.
Her Majesty’s Mines Inspectorate has also been informed.
Earlier, Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop, who represents Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “There has been a serious incident believed to be a gas explosion and we are waiting for further details about what has happened.”
His “thoughts and prayers” were with the workforce.
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.
It is 1,400m deep and its tunnels go far out under the North Sea.