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Peru landslide traps seven miners, kills one

A landslide in Peru has blocked the exit for miners trapped in a copper mine. Authorities continue to search for the missing despite having pulled one miner's body from the debris.

One miner was found dead and six others are still missing Friday after a landslide trapped them in an underground copper mine in the Arequipa region of Peru.

The landslide left more than 50 meters (164 feet) of mud and rock piled on top of the entrance to the mine on Monday. One miner managed to escape from the mine on Tuesday, and said three of his co-workers were still alive. However, there have been no signs of life since Wednesday, according to Jorge Martinez, a chief of Peru's volunteer firefighting force in Arequipa. Rescuers managed to pull out one deceased miner Friday, dimming the hopes for the remaining six miners.

"We shouldn't be pessimistic, we have to keep working until the end," policeman Helbert Espinoza told TV station Canal N.

Rescue equipment from Lima, which was requested by Arequipa governor Yamila Osorio, was delayed in getting to the mine. Lima is located about 580 kilometers (360 miles) north of the mine. The government said it provided a pump and additional pumps and generators were on the way.

The mine is owned by Chinchilico Minero SAC and is one of tens of thousands of "informal" mines registered according to a government program intended to ensure enforcement of tax, labor and environment laws across Peru's mining industry, according to the country's energy and mines minister. Chinchilico Minero SAC said that it could not immediately provide comment on the deadly incident.

kbd/kl (dpa, Reuters)