You are here
Home > News > Gold mine fire in Peru kills 27

Gold mine fire in Peru kills 27

A fire in a small gold mine in southern Peru has left 27 people dead, authorities said on Sunday, in the country’s single deadliest mining accident in more than two decades.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake shakes Ecuador

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook a coastal region of Ecuador and northern Peru midday Saturday, leaving at least four people dead and resulting in…

see more

In a statement, the local government said a short-circuit sparked the fire in the early morning hours of Saturday in the southern region of Arequipa. Images on local media and on social media showed dark plumes of smoke pouring out of the site.

🛑AREQUIPA. Lamentable. Serían 27 las personas q murieron al interior d la mina Esperanza I, ubicada en el distrito d Yanaquihua, sector d Ispacas (Condesuyos). Las primeras investigaciones señalan q, al promediar la medianoche d ayer 6 de mayo, s produjo un incendio x un circu

— erick simon (@225simon) May 7, 2023

The miners were likely working at least some 80 to 100 meters below the surface when the fire broke out.

The La Esperanza mine is operated by Yanaquihua, a small-scale firm. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“It’s been confirmed by the Yanaquihua police station, there are 27 dead,” local prosecutor Giovanni Matos told local television on Sunday.

Two people were rescued from the blaze, but no more survivors are expected to be found according to officials. The rescue effort was hampered by the remoteness of the mine, which is located some 90 minutes from the nearest police station and hours from the nearest city, the regional government said.

According to La República newspaper, reports that relatives of the missing men arrived at the scene Sunday morning, but have been prevented from accessing the site.

According to local media, a group of about 30 specialist officers is heading to the scene of the tragedy to secure the mine itself before beginning recovery efforts.

Peru is the world’s top gold producer and second-largest copper producer. According to data from Peru’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, the incident is the single deadliest mining accident since 2000.

In 2022, 38 people were killed in mining accidents around the country, highlighting safety concerns in Latin American mining. Peru had its deadliest year in 2002 when 73 people died in different mining accidents.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.