13 Nov 2014

WTC rescue from 69 storeys high

10:51 am on 13 November 2014

New York firefighters have rescued two workers stuck on collapsed scaffolding 69 storeys above the ground at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan.

World Trade Rescue

The window washers were rescued after firefighters cut a hole in the glass Photo: AFP

Footage showed the workers rescued through a hole cut in one of the glass windows of One World Trade Center, the BBC reported.

The Fire Department of New York earlier told the BBC the two people were uninjured and tethered.

They were on the scene in less than four minutes, a spokesman said.

World Trade Rescue

Stranded window washers hang from scaffolding on the side of One World Trade Center in New York. Photo: AFP

The window washers were pulled inside at around 2pm local time.

The rescued men were identified as Juan Lopez, who had been a window washer for five years, and Juan Lizama, who had been on the job for 14 years, Gerard McEneaney, a labour union official told Reuters.

The 541 metre tower opened for business last week as the first of 3,000 employees of publishing giant Conde Nast moved into their new offices there.

A police official said the partially collapsed scaffolding was hanging at "a 75-degree angle".

The cable on the scaffolding apparently broke as it retracted towards the roof of the building.

People on the ground were moved back in case glass began flying from One World Trade, the country's tallest skyscraper.

Gary Hansen, an architect who worked on 1 World Trade Center, happened to be across the street during the incident.

Mr Hansen told Reuters the building was designed with three cranes on top, two to suspend platforms and one for emergencies.

"These are the kind of emergencies architects plan for," he said.

World Trade Rescue

Onlookers take cell phone pictures of stranded window washers. Photo: AFP

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