May 7, 2023

Gold mine fire kills 27 in Peru

Gold mine fire kills 27 in Peru

By Biodun Busari

No fewer than 27 people have been confirmed dead during a fire incident in a small gold mine in southern Peru.

The authorities said the inferno was the country’s single deadliest mining accident in more than two decades, according to Reuters.

In a statement, the local government said a short-circuit sparked the fire in the early morning hours of Saturday in the southern region of Arequipa.

The mine is operated by Yanaquihua, a small-scale firm but the company has not issued any statement or commented on the fire.

“It’s been confirmed by the Yanaquihua police station, there are 27 dead,” local prosecutor Giovanni Matos told local television on Sunday.

Peru is the world’s top gold producer and second-largest copper producer. According to data from Peru’s ministry of energy and mines, the incident is the single deadliest mining accident since 2000.

In 2022, 38 people were killed in mining accidents around the country, highlighting safety concerns in Latin American mining.

Peru had its deadliest year in 2002 when 73 people died in different mining accidents.