Peruvian miners trapped since Thursday unlikely to be rescued soon

Two or three days longer than anticipated could take rescuers to get to the nine Peruvian miners trapped 200 metres below ground since last Thursday, told reporters Oscar Valdes, cabinet chief to Peru's President Ollanta Humala.

Local newspaper La Gaceta reports that new roof collapses inside the mine have made the miners “absolutely inaccessible” and quoted Valdes asking national and international companies to cooperate with the rescue.

The workers have been stuck underground in a horizontal tunnel since a shaft in the Cabeza de Negro gold-and-copper mine, located about 300 km south of Lima, partially collapsed last week.

Through a hose, rescuers have been able to communicate with the trapped miners and provide them with liquid sustenance (see photo). The local police chief, José Saavedra, told The Associated Press that already several tons of earth and rock have been removed from the tunnel's entrance.

Authorities worry, however, that while no one appears to be injured those trapped could still suffer from exposure to the elements.

Official figures show that 52 miners died in Peru during 2011 in work-related accidents, a third of them in mine shaft collapses.

Watch AlJazeera's report: