Lerøy Seafood Group fire leaves one man missing, 2.6 million salmon smolt dead

Published on
January 28, 2019

A fire that broke out on 27 January at Lerøy Seafood Group`s smolt facility in Laksefjord, Finnmark, Norway has left 2.6 million salmon smolt dead and one employee missing. 

The employee still missing was part of a work team at the facility that did not come out of the facility with the rest of the work team. According to a release by the company, the smolt lost weighed between 50 and 60 grams and were planned for a release in April. 

“It's a huge fire. Three to four people were at work during that time. One man is missing,” Svien Erik Jacobsen, police operations manager, told iFinnmark, a regional newspaper in Norway. 

According to iFinnmark, the police are assuming that the missing employee has died.

“The man is not accounted for and we fear that he has been left inside,” Einar Ingilæ, sheriff of the nearby municipality. 

The remote location, and low temperature, made fighting the fire difficult. Fire crews were notified of the fire at 7:40 a.m. but didn’t arrive until 9 a.m. and then had to battle temperatures well below zero when they arrived. 

The size of the fire also resulted in the enlistment of multiple Coast Guard vessels in order to fight the fire, as well as a “Sea King” helicopter. 

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the Lerøy Seafood Group said it will aid in investigations. 

“Lerøy Seafood Group will continue to assist the subcontractor, the police, and other public bodies in conducting an enquiry into what has happened," the company said in a release. “Initially the focus has been to obtain an overview of the situation, and implement mitigation measures.”

Photo courtesy Norway Coast Guard Squadron 337

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