Dangling worker rescues himself

October 15, 2009 2:55:31 PM PDT
There were some terrifying moments on the East Side when a worker fell from scaffolding and was left dangling from a rope 20 stories above the ground. The amazing part is that the worker rescued himself. Eyewitness video shows the vulnerable construction worker danging 20 stories in air. The only thing seperating him and the ground was a safety harness.

Dozens of people were walking along the street, trying to get to where they needed to get be. Then, in unison, they stopped, looked up and held their breath.

The Department of Buildings confirms a 5- by 18-foot section of brick fell into a rear courtyard, but not before hitting the scaffold, tossing the worker off the platform.

Two workers were doing brick pointing work on the back end of the Imperial Building on East 68th Street Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Sroka pulled out his camera and taped for one minute, but says it felt a lot longer.

About 50 people cheered as the man finally swung his legs up to an adjacent window ledge while another man hoisted him up.

No one was available to talk Herbert Rose Building Restoration in Long Island City, and calls were not returned. But the buildings department issued the general contrator two violations, including a partial stop work order for the fascade work and full vacate order for the rear courtyard.

No one was hurt.

A board will decide the penalities for failing to protect the workers and people who could have been injured below.

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