An explosive fire swept through a metals firm at Eina in Toten, Oppland County, Friday morning. Four workers were on the job when the fire broke out at around 6:20am, and two of them failed to escape the inferno.
State broadcaster NRK reported they were initially declared missing, but the bodies of a man in his 50s and a man in his 30s were later found in the rubble Friday afternoon. Both were employees of the firm, Metallco Aluminium AS, formerly known as Toten Metall, which has around 25 employees and annual revenues of NOK 300 million.
The two others on duty were injured, with one of them flown by air ambulance to Oslo University Hospital. The other worker was rushed to hospital in Gjøvik, where he was recovering from minor injuries.
The company produces metal rings using two gas-fueled smelters with a capacity of 15 tons. Company chairman Tord Linnerud arrived at the scene early and called it “completely unreal. We have no idea how this could have happened.”
The fire closed State Highway 4 that runs through the area and prompted the evacuation of a nearby school and six homes located close to the company. Employees arriving at the company later assembled in a nearby community hall, all shaken by the tragedy. An investigation into the cause of the blaze was underway.