Nine Peruvians rescued from collapsed mine

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Ica, Peru is 300km from Lima, which is the capital.
Image: TUBS.

Nine Peruvian miners were extracted from a collapsed copper mine Wednesday morning after spending six days underground. They were trapped under the Cabeza de Negro mine in Ica, Peru since the cave-in last Thursday.

Cquote1.svg It's pretty ugly inside. Cquote2.svg

—Freed miner

The rescue operation over the weekend was delayed by another cave-in. Workers used shovels, pickaxes, and wheelbarrows to remove more than 26 feet of earth. The only source of communication and provisions including food, water, and oxygen was a tube set in place before the shaft collapsed. Inside the mine, the men told jokes to maintain their spirits. "It's pretty ugly inside," said Edwin Bellido, one of the freed miners. "We slept on the ground on muddy plastic."

President Ollanta Humala welcomed the miners as they ascended from the mine. The event rekindled Humala’s efforts to convert Peru's illegal mines into government-recognized entities that could be regulated for safety. "This should lead us to reflect that we have to avoid these kind of risks because the results will not always be like today," said Humala.

The nine men trapped in the southern mine will be alright after they get over dehydration and dizziness, the president said. Mining accidents killed more than 50 individuals last year in Peru's illegal mines.


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