At least 27 workers died in a gold deposit in southern Peru, due to a fire that triggered one of the worst mining tragedies in this country with the highest production of that metal in Latin America.
A short circuit caused the fire in the La Esperanza 1 tunnela mine that operated legally in the town of yanaquihuain the department of Arequipa, according to the authorities in the place.
“The information we have from the police station (is that they are) 27 deceased inside the mine“, reported the prosecutor Giovanni Mattos to the N television channel.
The fireapparently followed by an explosionwould have spread on Saturdaybut only until this Sunday the police were able to confirm the number of victims.
“Where are you, daddy, where are you?” Marcelina Aguirre, wife of one of the deceased, exclaimed crying as she reached the vicinity of the cordoned-off site of the tragedy.
Her husband, Federico Idme Mamani, 51, was trapped in the mine whose wooden props would have been consumed by the flames.
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“We know that there was a short circuit and from there an explosion. We are very shocked by everything that happenedor,” Francisco, brother of the deceased miner, told AFP in the company of the woman.
for now there are no official reports of survivors and the exact number of workers is unknown who were in the burned mine at the time of the incident.
For his part, the government of Dina Boluarte expressed its condolences in a tweet.
“The ministries of Inside and Defending work since the beginning of this tragedy in the rescue and transfer of the bodiesadded the Presidency.
RESCUE IN PROGRESS
This Sunday, the relief forces tried to secure the place to extract the corpses from the minelocated about 2,300 meters above sea level and about 10 hours by car from the city of Arequipa.
The mayor of Yanaquihua, James Casquino, told the state news agency Andina that most of the workers died of suffocation and burns.
According to your version, the short circuit was generated by the collapse of some rocks.
The victims they would have been buried at a depth of about 100 meters in a straight lineaccording to local Arequipa media.
The sinkhole affected by the fire It is operated by Minera Yanaquihua, a medium-sized company that has been operating for 23 years. and extracts about 15,000 ounces of gold per yearaccording to their website.
The mining is one of the engines of the Peruvian economywith an 8.3% participation in GDP.
Peru is the second largest producer of silver, copper, and zinc worldwide, and the largest producer of gold, zinc, tin, lead, and molybdenum in Latin America.according to official data.
Last year 39 people died in events associated with miningaccording to the Ministry of Energy and Mines.