All 17 miners safely freed from stuck elevator in New York salt mine

January 7, 2016

An elevator that stopped working in a salt mine in New York left 17 miners trapped 900 ft below the surface for a number of hours. All 17 miners were eventually free from the Cargill mine and no injuries were reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the miners were working the day’s third shift and heading underground at 10 p.m. Wednesday when their elevator stopped, said Mark Klein, a spokesman for Cargill, which operates the mine in Lansing, N.Y. Emergency responders brought in a crane and used it to lower a basket into the mine to bring the miners up several at a time, he said.

The final miner emerged above ground shortly before 9 a.m. Klein said.

The mine, which is 2,300 feet deep, provides road salt, he said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had directed a team of inspectors from the Office of Emergency Management, Office of Fire Protection and the Department of Labor’s Division of Safety and Health to investigate.

This is the first time the mine’s elevator has gotten stuck, Klein said, and the mine will remain closed for at least the rest of the week while Cargill investigates. This is the first equipment malfunction at the mine since 2010.

Cargill regularly practices emergency evacuation drills with local emergency responders and coordinated Thursday’s rescue efforts with them as well, Klein said.

The mine, located near Cayuga Lake, was first opened in 1915, according to Cargill’s website. Cargill purchased the mine in 1970 and has been operating it ever since.


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