Peru Miners Rescued After Being Trapped For 6 Days

Nine workers were rescued in southern Peru after being trapped inside an abandoned mine for almost a week.

The men had been stuck about 656 feet below ground since the mine partially collapsed on Thursday.  A giant hose in place before the accident allowed the miners to receive oxygen and liquids while they were trapped. Once rescued, the miners still needed to get used to the sun still, all of them wearing sunglasses upon exiting.

The cave-in spurred calls to formalize Peru’s vast informal mining sector, which generates as much as $2 billion a year in income, or 60% of its exports, according to private estimates.

52 miners died in Peru last year in work-related accidents, a third of them in mine shaft collapses.

Should Peru formalize their minor sector?  Should other countries follow suit?

For more information, see: World News

4 comments

  1. That’s a good question. Should Peru’s Government impose more regulations? The mining industry is crucial to Peru’s economy, accounting for more than 60 percent of its exports. Following Chile, Peru is the world’s No. 2 copper exporter and ranks sixth in gold exports.

    One of the most high-profile mining incidents in Latin America occurred in 2010, when 33 Chilean miners were trapped 69 days inside a copper mine. The were know as the “Los 33.” They filed negligence lawsuits demanding $10 million from the bankrupt mine’s owners and $17 million from the government for failing to enforce safety regulations, but years remain before any payout. It is clear that the government is not enforcing safety regulations and it is causing many accidents. The government should be more proactive. If the mining industry is so important to the economy of Peru it should be an industry that is protected and monitored so that the mining can continue to be in operation without shut down.

  2. Everyone knows that mining is an extremely dangerous job, and that it is especially dangerous because the work is done underground. In a country like Peru, where products from its mines generate 60% of exports, there is also an economic issue. In order to formalize the mining process, the country would need to spend money (on new laws, safety measures, etc.), which would raise the cost of producing, and make Peru less competitive in the export market. Somehow countries like Peru with a huge export market based on mining must weigh the risk of mining with the benefits of exports in order to determine how to proceed.

  3. I agree with Liz’s above comment. While mining is an extremely dangerous job, Peru must balance the costs of formalizing the mining industry against the benefits of creating a safer system. If the country did decide to regulate the industry more closely, perhaps it could be done with the least amount of costs possible. Creating stricter laws with stringent safety measures will not necessary create huge costs for Peru, so it is likely possible that any increased costs will be outweighed by the increased safety in the mines. With more and more incidents such as this, it is time for more safety measures to be implemented in the mining industry.

  4. Mining is dangerous and that is why it should be regulated. Peru should create regulations for their mining industry especially when it is such a big industry and there are so many deaths. It often takes an accident or event to spur a country into action so it seems like a very appropriate time for Peru to examine the possibility of implementing safety regulations so hopefully something like this does not happen again soon.

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