LIMA – One of the nine men trapped inside a gold and copper mine in southern Peru said Monday that he and his comrades are well and eager to be rescued.
“We are all fine, thank God. We are worried, but continually praying to God to be quickly rescued from here,” Jesus Ccapatinta Raymi told a television journalist on the surface, speaking through the tube authorities have been using to supply the men with oxygen, food and water.
The miners were stranded last Thursday when a landslide sealed the entrance to the Cabeza de Negro mine in the Ica region.
Peruvian officials have enlisted rescue experts from Chile and Mexico and asked the mining giants that operate in the Andean nation to provide heavy earth-moving equipment.
“Nobody thought all of this would happen,” the 35-year-old Ccapatinta said Monday. “I can tell you that my wife shouldn’t worry. I’m fine, I will get out soon.”
The eight other miners range in age from 22 to 59.
The men are holed up in a horizontal passageway where the temperature is “mild,” according to Ccapatinta.
Peru’s Cabinet chief, Oscar Valdes, visited the scene on Sunday and vowed the government “will do everything” to rescue the trapped miners.
Efforts to reach the men have been hampered by continued landslides in and around the mine.
Ica regional health director Huber Mallma said the miners are also trying to dig their way out from inside. EFE