Gov’t Confirms Informal Miner Trapped In New Cave-In

An informal miner in Peru’s southern Ayacucho region has been trapped underground, the government confirmed, in another case that highlights the dangers of wildcat mining in the Andean country.

The Mines and Energy Ministry confirmed that the miner, Medardo Gutierrez, was trapped when there was a cave-in at the informal Luicho mine, in the district of Colta, in Ayacucho.

Felipe Paico, the head of the health office in Colta, said Thursday that Gutierrez has been trapped for more than 36 hours. He said he is “healthy” and is receiving food, and that the rescue work is “well advanced,” state news agency Andina reported.

Experts from mining companies in Inmaculada and Buenaventura are assisting with the rescue.

The incident follows a cave-in earlier this month at another informal mine, located in the southcoast Ica region. Nine workers were trapped for several days in that incident, which made national headlines and caught the attention of international media.

Those workers were rescued uninjured. However, the incident brought to the public’s attention the dangers in informal mining.

In early March, three miners died in a cave-in at another informal mine, in the barren hills of Jicamarca, just east of Lima.

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