Dangling workers rescued from 1 WTC

2014-11-12 21:41
Partially collapsed scaffolding on 1 World Trade Centre. (AP)

Partially collapsed scaffolding on 1 World Trade Centre. (AP)

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New York - Two window washers were trapped for more than an hour on Wednesday on scaffolding dangling 69 storeys up the side of 1 World Trade Centre before firefighters were able to cut through the new skyscraper's glass and pull them to safety.

The dramatic rescue occurred on the south side of the 541m, 104-storey building, where the open-topped platform hung at about a 45° angle and swayed slightly in the wind.

The fire department said the workers were tethered and communicating with rescuers during their ordeal on the side of the nation's tallest skyscraper.

A cable on the scaffolding apparently broke around 13:00 (18:00 GMT), according to Joe Pentangelo, a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building.

Rescuers could be seen dropping cables to workers and the fire department tweeted a photograph of rescuers inside the building looking at the dangling platform. At one point, another scaffold was inched down the same side of the building.

The opening cut into the thick glass was roughly 2m tall - even with rescuers' heads as they stood at the precipice. The two workers were brought through it at about 14:15 (19:15 GMT).

People on the ground had been moved back in case glass began flying. Office workers and construction workers streamed onto a nearby street, their necks craned upward to watch the scaffold as it is waved in the wind. Dozens of emergency vehicles lined the street.

The silvery skyscraper, which rose from the ashes of 9/11, reopened just last week to 175 employees of the magazine publishing giant Conde Nast.

About 3 000 more Conde Nast employees are expected to move in by early next year, eventually occupying 25 floors of the $3.9bn tower.

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