17 Miners Stuck Some 900 Feet Underground in New York Are Rescued

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A crane from Auburn has arrived on scene to assist at the rescue at Cargill salt mine after 17 miners got stuck underground in New York on Jan. 6, 2015. (Credit: Ithaca Fire Department)

Breaking update: All of the miners who were stuck in an elevator underground at a central New York salt mine have been rescued, according to Mark Klein, a spokesman for Cargill.

The miners are above ground and doing well, said Jessica Verfuss, assistant director of the Tompkins County emergency response department.

Original post:

An hours-long operation to rescue 17 central New York salt miners from a stuck underground elevator was nearly complete Thursday morning, with a rescuers having taken 15 back to the surface, an official said.

The two miners still stuck in an elevator 900 feet below ground at the Cargill rock salt mine near Lansing, New York, are expected to be rescued soon, said Marcia Winch, spokeswoman for the Tompkins County emergency response department.

The miners were entering the mine to start their shift at about 10 p.m. ET Wednesday when the elevator carrying them became stuck, said Mark Klein, a spokesman for Cargill.

“Everyone’s fine, and things are going well,” Winch said Thursday morning.

Emergency workers made contact with the miners via a radio before the rescue effort began, and they all appear to be uninjured, said Jessica Verfuss, the emergency department’s assistant director.

Crews also managed to provide heat packs and blankets to the miners so that they could keep warm during the rescue operation, Verfuss said.

The mine, near New York’s Cayuga Lake, processes salt that is used to treat roads for wintry weather. It produces about 2 million tons of salt that is shipped to more than 1,500 places in the northeastern United States, Cargill’s website says.

The rock salt mine is one of three operated by Cargill, with the other two being in Louisiana and Ohio.