Per-Håkan was found dead on his balcony: "Difficult to process."

When the Northvolt worker Per-Håkan wasn't answering his phone, it worried his colleagues. A while later, he was found dead on his balcony. "It is still hard to process," says partner Lena Karlsson.

The past few weeks have been difficult for Lena. "I want to know why he died," she says.

The past few weeks have been difficult for Lena. "I want to know why he died," she says.

Foto: Melker Westerberg

Engelska2024-07-11 09:00

It was at the beginning of June that Per-Håkan Söderström was supposed to catch a ride with some colleagues to an evening shift at the battery factory, where he worked as a service technician. He did not show up and was not answering his phone.

– It was unlike him; he was very diligent, never late, Per-Håkan's partner Lena Karlsson says.

The colleagues drove home to Per-Håkan and through the door to the apartment they could hear his phone ringing. Both ambulance and police were called to the home and with the help of the landlord they could get into the apartment.

By then, Per-Håkan had passed away.

– He was found on the balcony, Lena explains.

Police and ambulance were sent to investigate and help when Per-Håkan didn't answer, but to no avail. When Per-Håkan was found, he was already dead.

The previous night Per-Håkan had worked a shift, which went normally. A few hours before his passing, he met an acquaintance in a café.

– He cannot have laid there for long before he was found, Lena says.

She herself was on a work trip when it happened.

– His brother called me and said, "You have to come home, Per-Håkan is dead."

Per-Håkan was found dead on the balcony. "Maybe he sat in that chair when he died," Lena speculates.

His death is the third in less than six months where someone has died after finishing their shift at Northvolt in Skellefteå. In January, father of three Mahari Baraki, 33, was found dead in his bed in Skellefteå the day after his evening shift at Northvolt, where he worked as a cleaner for Sodexo. Approximately one month later, Maedin Ghidey Embaye, 19, left his night shift at the battery factory. The next day, February 23, he too was found dead in his bed in Skelleftehamn.

Norran has previously reported that the autopsies done have been unable to determine a cause of death, leaving the three passings inexplicable.

Per-Håkan's death was a shock to Lena. She describes him as a happy and sociable person. He enjoyed fishing, and in his free time he sometimes performed magic shows under the name "Perero."

– He was amazing with a deck of cards. Very dexterous. If we were having a "fika" in the city and he saw a sad child, he could bring out the deck that he always carried with him and perform a trick – that would always make the child happy again.

Per-Håkan enjoyed performing magic tricks for people, children, and adults alike. This picture, where he can be seen to the right, was taken in July 2015 when "The Norway Day" was celebrated at Guldtorget in Skellefteå

She also says Per-Håkan enjoyed his work, even though it could be hectic at times.

Did he work in parts of the factory where protective equipment was necessary?

– Yes, sometimes he had to wear full protective gear. He wore gas masks, gloves, and overalls.

According to Lena, Per-Håkan was in good health. He often used to bike to work, and shortly before his passing, he had been to a checkup at the doctor's.

– The checkup showed he was healthy. "Soon 60 but energy like a 25-year-old!" he joked with a neighbor.

Lena is now one of many wondering what caused his death.

– I want to know what happened; I want to know why he died. As long as I don't know, it's hard to move on. Hard to process.

A deck of cards and a magic wand – magic was an important part of Per-Håkan's life. "He has done magic since he was little," Lena says.

Per-Håkan Söderström died at 59. Yesterday, July 10, he would have been 60.

– Healthy as can be one day, dead the next. It doesn't make sense, says Lena.

Northvolt previously stated they welcome the police's investigation. A few weeks ago, they also wrote in an e-mail to Norran: "We want to underline that nothing in the police investigation or the employer's investigation has yet to show any connections to the job."

Sodexo, where 33-year-old Mahari Baraki was employed, has also said it is "very important this is investigated."