Two window washers caught on dangling scaffolding on the 69th floor of New York City’s One World Trade Center were pulled to safety on Wednesday through a window cut in the tallest U.S. skyscraper, a building official said.
Mechanical error appeared to trap the workers, both veteran window washers, on a small platform dangling vertically from cables, according to Gerard McEneany, director of the window washing division at the building in lower Manhattan told NY 1 television.
The oblong, open-topped platform could be seen hanging at a 45-degree angle outside the skyscraper’s glassy facade, swaying very slightly, high above the National September 11 Memorial in lower Manhattan. The 104-floor tower at the site of the destroyed Twin Towers, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Rescue teams above lowered down what appeared to be some sort of communications device down into the scaffolding, according to a Reuters witness, while workers in nearby offices clustered around their windows to watch the rescue.
About 20 minutes later, rescuers started to lower a second scaffolding platform down the tower’s facade.
Tenants began moving into the newly opened tower last week. The tower rises 1,776 feet above the ground and replaces the Twin Towers destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“Things like this happen all the time in the city,” Ray Elmadolar, a construction manager who works at a neighboring office building, said as he watched the unfolding operation, “but you don’t want it to happen so high up.”