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Red Cross Assists with Reception Center for Rescued Miners

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As first responders worked to rescue 17 miners trapped in a salt mine in Lansing, volunteers from the American Red Cross were helping to set up a reception center for the miners’ families. Twenty-four family members gathered at the site. Thankfully, all the miners were rescued and reunited with their loved ones.

The workers were descending to the floor of the 2,300-foot-deep mine to start their shift when the elevator malfunctioned.

Tompkins County Emergency Services contacted the Red Cross shortly before 3 a.m. Volunteers Lucy Fisher, Steve Tamas and Wayne Thurston were deployed to assist. The reception center was established at All Saints Catholic Church in Lansing, providing a common meeting site for the families.

At the nearby rescue operation, the miners were hoisted to safety in small groups and then brought to the reception center for the happy reunions.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross continues to help families across the country affected by severe winter storms and torrential flooding which started in early December, while also preparing to respond in other areas as floodwaters move south and new storms threaten communities.

Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers are on duty across multiple states, manning shelters for those affected, providing meals, distributing comfort kits and clean-up supplies, providing health services and emotional support, meeting with those affected to help them plan their next steps.

Three volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region - Diane Sargent, Lucille Frisicano and Sarah Perkins - are currently deployed to Oklahoma, helping with relief operations there.

The Red Cross relies on financial contributions to provide help and comfort to disaster victims anywhere, anytime. You can help people affected by disasters by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.