(CNN) -- Nine miners trapped below ground in the southern Peruvian region of Ica could be rescued Saturday night, state news reported an official as saying.
The miners have been stuck since Thursday in the wildcat Cabeza de Negro mine, the state-run Andina news agency said.
"My understanding is that we are a little less than two meters away and that tonight, it's very likely the miners will be safe," said Edgar Ortega, second in command at Peru's civil defense agency, Andina reported.
He cautioned there are still risks involved, including the possibility of landslides, as workers clear the debris. It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse.
Miners have been getting oxygen, food and water through a tube, which has also allowed them to stay in contact with people above ground, Andina reported.
Local miners, police and firefighters, as well as a specialized search-and-rescue team from Lima, were assisting in the effort.