Window washers not left hanging in N.Y.
The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Two window washers trapped on a dangling scaffold nearly 70 stories up the new 1 World Trade Center tower were rescued Wednesday by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them.
The dramatic rescue, coming a little more than a week after the nation’s tallest building officially opened, was followed by throngs of New Yorkers on the ground and many more around the world watching on live TV.
The window washers, Juan Lizama and Juan Lopez, were working on the Manhattan building’s south side early in the afternoon when one of the platform’s four cables abruptly developed slack, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. The open-topped platform tilted sharply and swayed slightly in the wind between the 68th and 69th floors, he said.
About 100 firefighters rushed to the skyscraper, some of them lowering ropes from the roof so the workers could secure themselves and a two-way radio for them to communicate, Nigro said. The workers also were harnessed to the platform.
Firefighters first used diamond cutters to saw through part of a two-layered glass window on the 68th floor. They shattered the thick glass in place, then carefully pulled the broken pieces into the building.
Firefighters also began inching another scaffold down the building as a backup rescue plan, but they were able to bring the workers to safety through the window hole.
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised rescuers for “great coordination.”