COPENHAGEN – According to reports, 17 workers have become trapped below ground at a LEGO™ mine outside the southern Denmark town of Bolderslev, after a drilling shaft full of red 2x4s inexplicably caught caught fire and exploded. At present, it appears that no one above ground was injured in the blast, however company officials have confirmed that a truck loaded with several large pirate ship components has been completely destroyed.
The incident is not the first for the Danish toy giant, which has seen strong global demand and dwindling LEGO™ reserves place additional pressure on its existing operations. Last year a site in Oksbøl was placed on probation, after a mine foreman was seriously injured after stepping barefoot on an exposed small black 4×1. The mine’s operator, KOLGINSFLUUVIN AG, was subsequently fined €350M ($460M), and instructed to ensure that stray pieces be retrieved from the mine’s floor before employees break for supper.
It has also been suggested that safety regulations have become less strictly enforced as an expanding product assortment has necessitated deeper and more extensive mines. Speaking off the record, one former employee was blunt in his assessment. “In the 80s, what were we selling? Square planes, square houses, and square flowers. Generally, formations that were pretty easy to find. Yes, occasionally we’d need to dig up the odd motorcycle, but pieces were plentiful in those days. Now? Do you know how hard it is to find a SpongeBob? We’re working people to the bone; it’s unsustainable.”
At present, crews on the scene are nearly finished constructing a rescue crane, but are reportedly unable to locate several critical parts.
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