Arequipa gold mine fire kills at least 27 in Peru

At least 27 people have died in a gold mine fire in Peru, in the worst mining accident in the country in decades.

The mine company, Yanaquihua, said 175 miners were rescued. It is a small mine in the Arequipa region, in the south.

An electrical short-circuit is thought to have sparked the fire. Officials said the miners were working about 100m (330ft) below the surface when the blaze broke out.

Images from local media showed flames and smoke erupting from the hillside.

According to the Peruvian news website rpp.pe, the fire was fuelled by La Esperanza gold mine’s timber tunnel supports, many of them soaked in oil.

Yanaquihua said it was carrying out an urgent investigation and “at this very sad time we are prioritising help for the bereaved and the rescued miners”.

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