I work at a good sized metal/nonmetal mine.
The main shaft is approx. 1600 ft. with the main level at about 1450ft.
There's approx. 450 miles of tunnel throughout the mine area.
Last week, on my first day back for shift, the skip (the large box that carries ore to the surface in a vertical shaft) rope snapped just after the bin emptied at the headframe.
The skip fell all 1600 ft. to the bottom of the shaft, trailing about 80' of 2" steel cable whipping behind it.
Pieces of wire about a foot long, that shredded off of the cable were found on the various levels that access the shaft.
Luckily, no one was near enough to be hurt by any debris, or the skip itself.
The reports so far say the skip looks like a soda can that's been crushed, and about 40 ft. of the shaft bottom is damaged.
The skip weighs approx. 22,600 lbs. Just over 11 tons. Empty. Think of a vertical semi trailer for an approx. size.
A new skip and rope are already on site, and repairs are expected to take about two weeks.
The company is extremely safety conscience and our mine has an excellent safety record.
Thank goodness nobody was injured, or worse.
Here's a picture of a skip. (Not ours)