Six employees of the mining company Virgen de la Candelaria died after falling more than 200 meters in the Pampa and Lima sector, in the mining area of Secocha, province of Camaná in Arequipa.
The victims were identified as: Víctor Salazar Madueño (40), Rogelio Mamani Mayta (40), José Chávez Bustinaza (36), Saúl Luna Atoche (42) Gabriel Guamán Tangoa (22) and Wily Lima Alvis (30).
According to police sources, the accident occurred on Friday at the average of 6:40 PM, when six miners descended from a hill of a height of 300 meters, on a platform using a winch (platform used by miners to transport material). When the small stand descended 50 meters, it collapsed. It hit the hill and fell more than 200 meters.
Four people died at the moment. Some people who were in the area helped the other two who were still alive. They were transferred in the awning of a van to the Urasqui Health Center, but they did not resist and died along the way. The public prosecutor Hugo de Romaña Velarde was in charge of removing the bodies.
Miners in the area indicated that a costumbrista festival called Pagacho was held on Friday at 9:00 on the top of the hill. After that activity some used the winch to lower, that would have caused the tragedy. At this moment the Public Prosecutor is investigating the exact causes of the accident.
The regional manager of energy and mines, Miguel Ángel Sucapuca, indicated that they have started an investigation procedure to determine a possible administrative sanction. He announced that the mining company Virgen de la Candelaria is formalizing. He said, however, that it would not be an accident at work.
"The use of the winch is only for the transfer of materials, but it is forbidden to move people, of the nearly 100 mines in Secocha, about 20 still use winches to transport the ore. move to carry out the research ", says Sucapuca.
Secocha is the largest mining center in Arequipa, where 20,000 people work. Since last year they started their formalization process.