Workers rescued from hanging scaffolding

July 11, 2012 2:13:50 PM PDT
Firefighters rescued two workers left hanging on stuck scaffolding outside the 42nd floor of a building in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.

Emergency crews responded to the scene on 6th Avenue and 46th Street. The two workers found themselves on scaffolding that has suddenly stopped working.

"It appeared one of the grip-hoist motors failed, so the scaffold was stuck in the cantilever position," Lt. Terry Terabocchia said.

The two workers were stuck, left hanging 42 stories above street level. The first firefighters on the scene from a floor above and a nearby ledge secured the scaffold. On the video, you can see the men holding on for dear life. Within an arm's reach, firefighters began working on a large window.

"We have special high rise suction cups that we cup to the windows and high rise pressure tape," Terabocchia said.

Using special diamond grinders, rescuers cut through two panes of glass. With power cut off to the scaffold motors, it was clearly obvious the scaffold was still at a precarious angle.

"We had a conversation with the workers on the platform. The platform was at a 45 degree angle. They were tied off," Lt. Brady said.

Down below anxious onlookers watched the rescue operation.

"I think I would be panicking, but you didn't hear them scream or anything. I'm sure they were nervous," eyewitness Dan Denapoli said.

After an hour of hanging precariously, a fireman grabbed the first worker through a cut window. The second man was then pulled off the platform, through the window and back to safety.

"He was saying it was his third time stuck. He just wanted to get down and take the rest of the day off," Brian Loveriege of Ladder 4, said.

The workers were taken to Bellevue Hospital as a precaution and released. They were not injured. One worker was taken away on a stretcher.


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