The newly inaugurated World Trade Center is in headlines again – this time for a rescue mission involving two window washers who were dangling 70 storeys above the ground for more than an hour.
The workers were trapped on a hanging scaffold after a cable supporting the apparatus became loose on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred when the workers, identified as Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama, were preparing to head back to the top of the 104-storey building after completing their job. The motor operating the scaffolding broke down suddenly with a cable coming loose, making the entire platform tilt towards its side.
The two workers were left hanging near the 69th storey of the tower until 2:15pm, when fire-fighters were able to use a diamond saw to tear through three layers of glass panes to rescue the workers:
Watch the video below:
"I see two heads dangling over the scaffolding... they just keep looking down," said Reginald Moye, who witnessed the incident from the 24th floor of a nearby hotel. "They look like they're maybe five feet in the middle of the scaffold, hanging."
After the New York Fire Department made contact with the workers and made sure they were fine, they made plans that included two possible options, CBS New York reported.
"We were either going to go with scaffolding and lower it down to the guys, and they would transfer over to another scaffolding safely. And the other option we were going with, which we were involved with, was there's three panes of glass and basically cutting the glass away," said Lt Billy Ryan with FDNY Rescue One.
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"The workers were safely brought in and were transported to the hospital with only mild hypothermia, and that was the extent of the injuries," Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro told CBS.
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