Fire and poisonous fumes in a collapsed Peruvian gold mine slowed efforts by rescuers to find amateur miners trapped hundreds of feet underground for more than five days, officials said.

Energy Minister Jose Carrasco said "authorities have almost no hope of finding more survivors" in the Sol de Oro gold mine, 230 miles south of Lima near Nazca.Three miners have been rescued, and six found dead in the mine, which was being worked on a part-time basis by area residents after it had been abandoned last year by its owners, official sources said.

Nazca police Lt. Juan Robles said the trapped miners have been inside the mine since Saturday, when a fire prevented their escape.