Tunnel specialists bolster Peru mine rescue effort

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 13:33

Ica: Tunnel reinforcement specialists
arrived Tuesday to reinforce shafts at a copper mine in southern Peru where nine workers have been trapped for four days, providing a boost for frantic relatives.

The addition of 20 specialists from private mining companies came after Oscar Valdes, cabinet chief to President
Ollanta Humala, told reporters of new roof collapses inside
the Cabeza de Negro mine, 325 kilometers south of Lima.

The miners have been trapped 250 meters underground in a
horizontal tunnel since Thursday when a shaft collapsed.

The nine, aged 22 to 59 and including a father and son,
were not injured and remain together. They were being supplied
with oxygen, water and soup through a metal tube that they
also use to communicate with rescue workers.

Celestina Lopez Perez, who has a husband and two sons
trapped in the mine, welcomed the specialists and pleaded with
them to speed up efforts to keep her loved ones alive.

Some miners have been able to speak with relatives who
are staying near the mine at an improvised camp of about 80
people that also includes police, firefighters and other
miners.

While their health is generally considered sound, some of
the miners are suffering from anxiety given the emergency
situation.

Outside the mine on Sunday, a group of rescuers cut wood
beams to reinforce the tunnel walls.

Workers also used their hands and buckets to remove the
debris obstructing the shaft. Before entering the mine, many
chewed coca leaves in the belief that it would help them
confront the difficult task.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 13:33

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