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Flooding traps 21 Minn. college students in Peru

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A group of Gustavus Adolphus College students and faculty members are among those awaiting evacuation in Peru after mudslides swept an area near Machu Picchu.

      The college in St. Peter says in a news release Wednesday that 21 students and two faculty members are on a study abroad course examining social issues in the country.

Gwen Freed, a spokeswoman for Gustavus Adolphus, said college officials have spoken with trip leader Debra Pitton who said the group is doing well.   

"It was good to talk with her personally and hear from her that they have food and water and that they are staying in a hotel and that under the circumstances, their spirits are really fine," Freed said. "The students have been very supportive of one another and are showing a lot of patience and fortitude waiting for their turn to leave the area."

      Helicopters have been flying out groups of people, but it's not clear when the students will leave.

      Authorities in Peru say about 1,400 travelers remain stranded since Sunday's mudslides damaged sections of the railway to the city of Cuzco - the only way in or out of the area.

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      On the Net:       Gustavus Adolphus College: http://gustavus.edu

             (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)