ShareThis Page
Editors Picks

Dangling workers rescued from World Trade Center

| Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, 2:47 p.m.
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the One World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers were stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level.
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the One World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers were stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level.
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the One World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers were stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level.
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the One World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers were stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level.

NEW YORK — Two window washers were trapped for more than an hour Wednesday on scaffolding dangling 69 stories up the side of 1 World Trade Center 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 1,776-foot, 104-story building, where the open-topped platform hung at about a 45-degree 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 1 p.m., according to Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman 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 6 feet tall, even with rescuers' heads as they stood at the precipice. The two workers were brought through it at about 2:15 p.m.

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.

Carol Thomas and Lisa Cogliano, who both work for an insurance company, were returning to their nearby office from a meeting.

“Oh God, I don't want to know what he is feeling,” said Thomas. “I can't imagine.”

“It's horrific,” said Cogliano. “Hopefully, they find a way to get him out.”

The silvery skyscraper, which rose from the ashes of the Sept. 11, 2001, 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 $3.9 billion tower.

Steps away from the new tower are two memorial fountains built on the footprints of the decimated twin towers, a reminder of the more than 2,700 people who died in the terrorist attack.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me