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Gold mine fire kills 27 in Peru

09 May 2023

A fire in a gold mine killed 27 workers on 6 May in southern Peru. The incident at a mine in the remote Arequipa region is the country’s worst mining accident for decades.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

Local authorities said a short-circuit sparked a fire during the early hours which was fuelled by the mine's timber tunnel supports. The mine is operated by Yanaquihua, a small-scale Peruvian mining company.

Miners were working around 100 metres (330ft) below the surface in the mine when the fire started. A total of 175 miners were rescued, however 27 workers were confirmed to have died. The Yanaquihua mining company said it would carry out an investigation to determine the exact circumstances of the incident.

The local government said that rescue efforts were hindered by the mine’s remote location which meant it took emergency services around 90 minutes to arrive at the scene.

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