Blaze sparked by brief circuit engulfed one of many tunnels at distant La Esperanza 1 mine in southern Peru.
At the very least 27 staff have been killed in a hearth at a distant gold mine in southern Peru in one of many worst mining accidents within the nation’s current historical past, based on authorities.
Officers informed native media on Sunday that the miners had been working about 100m (330 ft) under the floor when a brief circuit on Saturday sparked a blaze that rapidly engulfed one of many tunnels.
Photographs on social media confirmed flames and smoke erupting from the hillside at La Esperanza 1 mine within the Arequipa area.
Grief-stricken relations gathered close to the location within the city of Yanaquihua awaiting information of their family members.
“The place are you, darling? The place are you?” cried Marcelina Aguirre Quispe, whose husband was among the many victims.
“We all know there was a brief circuit and from that an explosion. We’re very shocked by every little thing that occurred,” mentioned Francisco Idme Mamani, whose 51-year-old brother, Frederico, additionally perished.
Public prosecutor Giovanni Matos informed Channel N tv that there have been “27 useless contained in the mine”.
Information of the fireplace was solely revealed on Sunday as soon as police had gathered particulars of those that had been killed. Rescue groups had been attempting to safe the mine earlier than eradicating the our bodies.
“We’ve got to make the place the place the useless are secure so we will enter it and get better the our bodies,” Matos mentioned.
There have been no reviews of survivors or details about how many individuals had been within the mine on the time of the fireplace. As of late Sunday, 12 our bodies had been recovered earlier than rescue groups suspended their operations at dusk, police mentioned in an announcement.
Yanaquihua Mayor James Casquino informed the Andina information company that a lot of the miners would have died of asphyxiation and burns.
The regional authorities mentioned in an announcement that the emergency response had been difficult as a result of the closest police station was about 90 minutes away from the location and a number of other hours from the closest metropolis.
The mine, operated by Minera Yanaquihua, is a authorized enterprise, however there are various unlawful mines within the area.
The corporate has been working mines in Peru for 23 years.
Final yr, 39 individuals died in mining-related incidents, based on the mining and power ministry.
In 2020, 4 staff died after turning into trapped when a mine in Arequipa collapsed.
Mining is without doubt one of the engines of the Peruvian financial system. The nation is the most important gold and copper producer in Latin America, and the trade accounts for greater than 8 % of Peru’s gross home product.
The nation can be the world’s second-largest producer of silver, copper and zinc, based on official sources.