It is a terribly tragic event for the entire coal industry and the thoughts of us who work for Store Norske go to those are left, said Rune Seljevold, a worker in Mine 7.
He is the new senior safety ombudsman and said this is an eye-opener even for a coal company in the north.
"It just shows that what we're doing is dangerous and that one must be constantly vigilant," Seljevold said.
As Svalbardposten went to press, 238 miners were confirmed dead and 120 remain unaccounted for. A total of 787 miners were in the mine when it exploded.
Several mining workers in Svalbard have experienced accidents or near accidents over the years.
"Store Norske is very concerned about safety, but it is clear that those who have been with us for some years and seen much can have ideas when they see this tragic accident," Seljevold said.