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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Machu Picchu rescue under way
Machu Picchu
The ancient Inca citadel is the region's biggest tourist attraction
The Peruvian authorities have begun to evacuate at least 1,400 people - many of them tourists - stranded at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu by a mudslide.

On Wednesday, the railway line leading up the Andes mountains to Machu Picchu was covered by a mudslide more than three metres (9.8ft) deep.

Peruvian officials said the slippage of mud and rocks was caused by snow melting on a nearby mountain peak.

A spokeswoman for Peru Rail said no-one was hurt in the incident.

The trapped people were being brought to safety by bus.

Many of those trapped at the site were US and European visitors, said a spokesman for the government of the nearby city of Cuzco.

Work to restore rail services is expected to take up to three days.

At least six people were killed when mudslides struck Machu Picchu in April 2004.

Some 400,000 people visit Peru's most famous tourist attraction every year.




SEE ALSO:
Peru's mudslide rescue continues
12 Apr 04 |  Americas
Peru mudslides hit Machu Picchu
10 Apr 04 |  Americas
Peruvian plan to save Inca city
19 Apr 05 |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
16 Dec 03 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Peru
13 Dec 03 |  Country profiles


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