Chile miner trapped 1000 feet underground


Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne speaks during a press conference at the San Jose mine, near the city of Copiapo, 800 kilometers (480 miles) north of Santiago. Oct. 9, 2010. At the time, 33 miners were trapped within the mine, in the end all were successfully rescued.



Rescue workers in Chile are working to free a miner trapped 1000 feet underground after a mine collapsed in the northern Atacama region.

The rescuers said they could hear noises that indicate Mario Torres Lopez, 42, is alive and trying to communicate with them, but they are unsure if he was injured in the collapse. They have not seen him, but he continues to respond to the noise signals they are sending.

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Regional mining secretary Mario Lopez Cid said Lopez survived the collapse in the Victoria mine by hiding in a secondary tunnel. Firefighters and special police are continuing to try to clear rubble that trapped the miner by hand.

The same region saw a copper mine collapse in 2010, trapping 33 miners. They were pulled out through a small shaft after 69 days underground. Following that collapse, which garnered international attention, the Chilean government tightened security measures at mines across the country. Injuries and deaths related to tunnel collapses and rockfalls, however, are still a common problem.