Rescuers seek trapped miners in southern Peru

Lima (AFP) - Rescuers in Peru were working Friday to save seven miners trapped for nearly four days by a landslide, the emergency services said.

An avalanche of mud and rocks driven by heavy rain trapped the men on Monday in the mine where they were working in the southern Acari district.

"Rescue work is continuing," Jacqueline Choque, head of emergency operations for the surrounding Arequipa region, said late Thursday.

"Extra teams have arrived to help with extracting the water, which has brought down mud, earth and stones. We need a submergible pump" to extract the mud, she added.

One of the miners escaped and alerted authorities, officials said. At first rescuers had been able to hear sounds from one of the trapped miners, but Choque said that the sounds stopped on Wednesday.

"There is hope that they are still alive since there are various caverns in the mine and they could have found a safe place."

Peru is a major mining country, exporting copper, gold and other minerals.

The incident recalled the case of 33 miners who were trapped for more than two months in a deep mine in Chile in 2010, drawing world attention.