(Corrects to reflect that it is not yet known how the shooter died.)

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The man who opened fire on his workmates, killing two, at a wood-processing firm in the central Swiss town of Menznau on Wednesday was 42 years old and had worked for years at the facility, authorities said.

The shooter is among the fatalities, although authorities did not specify the circumstances of his death in the incident at the Kronospan facility.

At a press conference, police and Kronospan representatives said that the assailant fired on his colleagues with a pistol, killing two of them and wounding seven others, five of them seriously.

He began firing into the workshops around 9 a.m. and continued shooting people along the passage leading to the cafeteria.

Representatives of the firm called the shooter a calm and reserved person.

Kronospan employs around 400 workers.

Neither the police nor the firm's representatives were willing to speculate on the shooter's motives.

The incident shocked Switzerland, a country where there is a large number of weapons in the hands of the civilian population and where events of this kind occur with a certain regularity.

The Federal Council registered its concern over the incident and expressed its condolences to the families of the victims.

"What happened is unbelievable. We don't know the details, but what they've told us is truly horrible," said Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. EFE