17 trapped miners rescued after elevator mishap
NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
AP photoAll 17 miners were freed early Jan. 7 from an underground salt mine in upstate New York, 10 hours after becoming trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, officials said.
The miners were going down into the Cargill salt mine in Lansing, New York at about 10:00 pm Jan. 6 (0300 Thursday) when the elevator stopped functioning.
"At 8:30 am, (1330 GMT) the last of 17 miners were rescued from a shaft 800 feet (245 meters) down at the Cargill salt mine," fire department officials in the nearby city of Ithaca wrote on their Facebook page.
"This brought to an end a rescue that lasted 10 hours, in frigid temperatures that brought over 15 agencies together to bring the men up safely," the Facebook post read.
"A positive outcome to one of the most difficult rescues in recent memory!"
Cargill spokesman Mark Klein told AFP that the elevator simply "stopped and became stuck" while the miners were on their way into the mine to begin their shift, noting that the mine floor is at 2,300 feet (700 meters) below ground and the elevator has safety brakes.
He added that the mining operations at the site have been suspended for the time being.
"First shift has already been called off and we will have to investigate and inspect the operation," Klein said
"We have been in constant contact with the 17," he said, adding that the mine employs about 200 workers.