(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 (244 to 274 meters) 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 Inc CARG.UL 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 road salt that is shipped to more than 1,500 locations throughout the northeast United States.
Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago, Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles and Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Bernadette Baum