Fires are seen still burning at the smolt plant owned by LSG subsidiary Laksefjord AS. Photo: The Armed Forces / 337 squadron.

Man believed to have died in fire at Lerøy plant

A worker is believed to have died in a fire at a salmon hatchery Lerøy Seafood Group (LSG) has in Finnmark, northern Norway.

Published Last updated

Norwegian state broadcaster NRK broke news of the blaze yesterday morning. The plant in Friarfjord belongs to Lakesfjord AS, which is owned by Lerøy Aurora.

Three people were confirmed safe, while a fourth is missing and believed to have died.

Explosion hazard

“The man is believed to have died. He was in the building that burned out. The man’s relatives have been notified,” operations manager Svein Erik Jacobsen told news agency NTB.

The smolt plant is remote so it was difficult for emergency services to reach. Lack of water was also stated as a critical problem.

There was also reported to be a large explosion hazard as there are many gas cylinders in and around the building, and a safety cordon of 1km has been established.

In a stock exchange announcement, Lerøy Seafood Group confirmed that fire broke out in the smolt plant.

Damage limitation 

“An employee of a company that performed maintenance work has not been accounted for. Our thoughts go to his relatives and his colleagues. Lerøy Seafood Group will assist the subcontractor, police and other public bodies to find out what has happened. So far, work is being done on mapping the situation, gaining an overview of material damage, as well as initiating damage-limiting measures,” the company said.

As a result of the fire, 2.6 million smolts with an average weight of 50-60 grams, planned to be set out in the sea in April 2019, have been lost.

LSG writes that remedial measures will be implemented. Further information related to the incident will be provided in connection with the company’s quarterly presentation on February 26.

In April last year LSG announced an expansion of the post-smolt facilities at the plant, which supplies the company’s salmon farming businesses in Finnmark and Troms.

The NOK200 million (£18m) investment took total spend on the plant to NOK700m (£62m).