All 17 Miners Have Been Rescued From an Upstate New York Shaft

January 7, 2016, 4:12 PM UTC
The Ithaca Fire Department uses a crane to lift miners from the Cargill salt mine in Lansing
The Ithaca Fire Department uses a crane to lift miners from the Cargill salt mine in Lansing, New York, January 7, 2016, in this handout photo provided by the Ithaca Fire Department. Some of the 17 miners trapped in an elevator shaft at an upstate New York salt mine have been rescued and crews were continuing to work early on Thursday to free the remaining miners, officials said. REUTERS/Ithaca Fire Department/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTX21FBL
Photograph by Ithaca Fire Department via Reuters

Seventeen salt miners who had been trapped in an elevator shaft at an upstate New York mine have been rescued, officials said on Thursday, and the mine’s owner said it would inspect the property to see what had caused the incident.

The miners became trapped about 800 to 900 feet down the elevator shaft at around midnight local time, when a lift malfunctioned at Cargill’s Cayuga Salt Mine in Lansing, a town of about 11,000 people north of the city of Ithaca in central New York, the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response said.

The workers were not injured, it said.

A spokesman for Cargill said the company would launch an investigation into why the elevator malfunctioned.

“We probably won’t operate the mine for the rest of the week as we investigate the cause,” said Mark Klein, a spokesman for the global commodities trader.

Technical rescue experts and equipment were summoned to the scene to help rescue the workers, emergency officials said.

According to Cargill’s website, the Lansing mine processes approximately 2 million tons of roadsalt that is shipped to more than 1,500 locations throughout the northeast U.S.