One trapped miner in Chile rescued, one dead, one remains missing

Chile is the world’s top copper producer. Image courtesy of Codelco via Flickr.

Chilean authorities found alive one of three Bolivian miners trapped beneath the rubble at a small copper mine early on Saturday, while another was found dead, Chile’s mining ministry said.

Authorities have yet to locate the third miner. The three men had gone missing late Thursday after a small landslide blocked the entrance to the mine, trapping the miners nearly 70 meters (230 feet) beneath the surface.

“Our rescue teams found one of the miners in good physical condition, and he has been transferred to the hospital,” mining minister Baldo Prokurica said in a statement on Saturday. “We will continue to look for the third person that has not been found.”

The mining ministry said authorities had worked for nearly 40 hours at the Directorio 8 mine near Tocopilla on the northern Chilean coast before locating two of the three men.

Chile is the world’s top copper producer, and mining accidents, while uncommon, are closely followed by the Chilean public and politicians.

In 2010, a mining accident in Copiapo, northern Chile, led to 33 miners being trapped underground for nearly 10 weeks before being rescued, an event that made world headlines.

(By Dave Sherwood; Editing by Franklin Paul)

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