RESCUED! DRAMA IN NEW YORK CITY: Window Washers Trapped Over 60 Floors Up On Scaffold At 1 World Trade Center


world-trade-center1[Multiple live updates and live video below. Rescue concluded at 2:18 p.m. EST.] 1:05 p.m. EST: Three window washers are currently trapped on a scaffolding at 1 World Trade Center. Images from the scene showed the scaffolding dangling at a precarious angle. The scaffold is trapped at around the 68th floor.

The incident began at around 12:45 p.m. on the south side of the building.

Emergency responders have rushed to the scene in an effort to rescue the workers and secure the dangling scaffold platform.

Initial reports suggest the washers were done cleaning and were about to ascend to to the top of the tower when one of the motors failed.

world-trade-center2Check back soon for more on this developing story.

Updated: 1:10 p.m. EST: We are now told that there are two men, not three, trapped. Some outlets reported the workers being stuck at the 50th floor. A reporter at the scene confirmed that the workers are higher up, at about the 68th floor.

Updated: 1:16 p.m. EST: The first office tenants moved into the 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper last week, more than 13 years after the original World Trade Center was destroyed. The new tower stands 1,776 feet. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Update, 1:24 p.m. EST: Emergency responders from the Police and Fire Departments along with the Port Authority are on the scene in an effort to rescue the workers and secure the dangling scaffold platform.

Updated: 1:31 p.m. EST: Responders at the scene say that the pleasant weather is a game-changer. Had it been raining or otherwise inclement, the rescue would be significantly more difficult.

Updated: 1:35 p.m. EST: Firefighters will be sending a tether down from the roof and will also try to remove a window in the building in order to rescue the workers.

Updated: 1:35 p.m. EST: The workers are employed by Big Apple Window Cleaning. People on the ground have moved back in case glass begins flying. Office workers and construction workers have streamed onto a nearby street, their necks craned upward to watch the scaffold as it is waving in the wind. Dozens of emergency vehicles have lined the street.

Update, 1:46 p.m. EST: Images on live television show one side of the scaffolding dropping at an almost 90 degree angle. Joe Pentangelo, the spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the building, stated that a cable on the scaffolding broke, leading to this crisis.

Update, 1:49 p.m. EST: The firefighters will be working to cut through the glass of the window next to the scaffolding to get the workers into the building. We are told that the workers – who have now been hanging for about an hour – are well and that there is no danger at this time of them falling, as they are safely harnessed. It may take another 15 minutes for the firefighters to cut through the glass. The glass is extremely thick, bullet-proof, and very difficult to cut through.

Update, 1:57 p.m. EST: The firefighters have cut through one window pane and are now working to cut through the outer window pane in order to get to the workers, who are bravely hanging on.

Update, 2:12 p.m. EST: The window has been popped out, which rescuers on the ground call “a very good sign.”

Update, 2:15 p.m. EST: One of the workers has been safely brought into the building.

Update, 2:18 p.m. EST: The drama is over, as the second worker has also been pulled by firefighters to safety. The incredible rescue is a success less than 90 minutes after it started.


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