Nine Peruvian workers trapped underground at Peru’s Cabeza de Negro, 330km from Lima, were freed on Wednesday April 11, to a rapturous reception by rescuers, the press and Peruvian president Ollanta Humala (centre, waving).
Photograph: © Reuters/Mariana Bazo
They had been stuck about 200 metres from the mine’s adit since April 5, after a landslide.
Rescue teams worked non-stop until the men were freed.
Cabeza de Negro is an illegal copper and gold mine in the Yauca del Rosario (Ica) district.
It was abandoned by its owners more than two decades ago, but continued to be worked by artisan miners.
Greeting the rescued men with the words “mission accomplished”, President Humala went on to warn about the danger that artisan miners put themselves into, according to local media reports.
The miners, who are 22 to 59 years old, left walking and wearing dark glasses to prevent eye damage as they were in total darkness for six days.
During this time, the rescue team used a cable to communicate with the trapped men, and it was also used to supply them with water, oxygen and food.