Santiago: At least 34 miners were trapped
inside a copper and gold mine in northern Chile after a
cave-in, authorities said on Friday, although their condition was
Officials said the accident occurred last night in
the San Esteban mine near the city of Copiapo, in the arid
Atacama desert 800 kilometres north of Santiago.
"The assessment of the terrain indicates there is a
blockage in the mine`s main shaft," an official report said.
Police entered the mine through a vent and made a
detailed assessment, the report said.
The governor of the Atacama region, Ximena Matas, said
that at least 34 miners were trapped inside and that the
cave-in occurred at a depth of 300 meters.
"There was a cave-in at the 300 (meter) level and workers
were below that. At the moment we can say they are trapped,"
she told Bio Bio radio.
"We have information that there is a shelter with the
basics needed to support people for a time, such as oxygen,
protective gear, overcoats, etc."
"We cannot talk about victims at this point," she said.
"The information we have is that they are trapped, but we have
no concrete information on the condition they are in," she