Part of Nornickel's Arctic processing plant collapses, one killed

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - One person was found dead and two were missing after a processing plant owned by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel partially collapsed during maintenance in the Arctic Siberia, the company said on Saturday.

The Arctic environment and production security at Nornickel's assets has been in the spotlight since a major fuel leak at its power plant near the city of Norilsk and a list of smaller accidents in 2020.

The plant in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia continues to operate with some restrictions, it added in a statement. A regional investigative committee said in a separate statement it had opened a criminal investigation into the accident.

An ore loading section of the plant collapsed early on Saturday during renovation work to reinforce the building's structure, Nornickel said.

Four workers of the Nornickelnickelremont firm, which was doing the repairs, were recovered from the debris, and one of them died in a hospital. The search for two missing workers continues, Nornickel said.

Earlier this month, Nornickel, the world's largest producer of palladium and a leading producer of nickel, was fined $2 billion for the damage caused by the major fuel spill last year.

(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Polina Devitt; Editing by William Mallard and Lincoln Feast.)