Men rescued after hours in mine shaft
TWO miners have been rescued after they were trapped in a lift halfway down a mine shaft south of Sydney.
The pair were left stranded about 160 metres down the shaft on Wednesday evening after the lift broke down at the Tahmoor Coal Mine near Wollongong.
The mine is owned by SIMEC, part of British firm Gupta Family Group Alliance.
Both men were in good spirits and rescue crews communicated with them using radios until they could be brought out, a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said.
A small cage was lowered down late on Wednesday to inspect the lift and begin the rescue operation.
"We're getting out kit out there, working with the mine people and doing our risk assessment and making sure everything's right before we go ahead with the rescue," Graham Jarrett from Fire and Rescue told the Illawarra Mercury.
Four rescue crews from Picton, Mittagong and Liverpool, including specialist rescue squads and three senior officers, worked to free the men.
The company has likened the incident to a lift malfunction and insisted the two men were not in any danger.
In a statement to news.com.au, GFG Alliance media and communications manager Sean Kelly said the lift broke down as it was hoisting the men to the surface.
"The employees are uninjured and their families have been contacted and are being regularly updated in their status and the progress of the emergency response," Mr Kelly said.
"As always the safety of or employees is of the utmost importance, and we are working in conjunction with external emergency services to develop plans to bring the two employees safely to the surface.
"The lift has been isolated both electrically and mechanically and has been stabilised. Two way communications are in place between the lift and the surface, and the two mine employees are assisting with the response."