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Rescuers battle to reach Chile miner

26 March 2013, 16:11

Santiago - Rescue workers were battling to reach a trapped miner buried 300m underground at a copper plant in northern Chile on Monday, officials said.

The miner, identified as Mario Lopez, aged 42, was trapped early on Monday in the Victoria mine, located near Vallenar, a city some 600km north of the capital Santiago.

Police said that rescuers, which include firefighters, have maintained contact by sound with Lopez, who apparently took shelter in a secondary shaft.

Mauricio Pino, the top regional official, wrote on his Twitter account that rescuers were working "manually" in an attempt to rescue Lopez, and propping up the shaft for safety reasons as they made progress.

The case echoes the August 2010 accident that trapped 33 men in a mine 600 meters below the surface also in northern Chile.

Those miners were rescued after 69 days underground in a dramatic operation covered on live TV and broadcast around the world.



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