The Daily Mail reports that a British man who worked at Facebook's Odense facility has died in a fire.
The tragic event at a residential address killed a contractor who had been working on the construction at the facility which is due to go fully live in 2020.
Accounts of the construction company revealed this week that one of the buildings at the campus is already in use, and contributing to Facebook's business.
UK local news site Kent Online reported that a fire broke out in a store room at a residential address in Kerteminde after a possible gas explosion.
Both the Daily Mail and Kent Online have named the man as Jon Gore, 48, of Rochester in Kent, UK. Gore was hired by a British firm working as a supervisor to fit fire prevention material at Facebook's Odense site. He was reportedly planning to return home when the fire started.
The UK press reports say he died on Monday, May 20. Gore's family are still waiting for an explanation of his death from Danish authorities.
The news broke in the same week that news site TV2fyn reported that one of the two buildings on the site is already in use, according to the annual accounts of construction company Cassin Networks - a subsidiary company which turned out to be a subsidiary of Facebook, set up to maintain secrecy during the early stages of planning and construction, which began back in 2016.
Cassin's accounts also show that the subsidiary is receiving money for services provided to other Facebook companies, However, TV2fyn spoke to Facebook's Nordic information manager Peter Münster and cautions that cautions that the building may not actually be in use as a data center: the wording in the accounts could mean that the building is in use as a workplace for Facebook employees. Cassin's salary bill is DKK 38 million $5 million.
Although plans are apparently still on track for a 2020 opening, the company did run into allegations of tax avoidance and unfair labor practices in February 2019, when British-owned subcontractor subcontractor admitted paying foreign construction workers less than the industry-standard rate, according to a Danish news site, which also claimed that overtime was being paid through foreign bank accounts to avoid income tax, according to employee documents.
It's been a troubling period for Danish hyperscale data centers. This week Apple cancelled a second facility in the country on land it had owned since 2017. Facebook also cancelled a second data center earlier this year, only a few months after the plans were revealed.
Facebook have not yet made a public comment on the incident. Mace, which has been working on the site, released the following statement: “We were shocked and saddened by the death of Jon Gore at his private accommodation a few weeks ago. The Danish authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and it would be inappropriate to comment any further. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Jon’s family and friends at this tragic time.”