Lower Manhattan

Scaffold Collapse Prompts Rescue at NYC High-Rise Building

NBC Universal, Inc.

Rescue efforts saved two window washers who were left hanging on to a broken scaffold more than 200 feet in the air in Lower Manhattan Monday morning.

FDNY teams responded to the 26th floor of the building at the Brookfield Place complex off Vesey Street shortly after 9 a.m, police and fire officials said. The first responders had to lower safety lines to the trapped workers, and then check the rigging on the scaffold to make sure it wouldn't move more, FDNY Lt. John Tobin said.

Both trapped workers were rescued and brought safely into the building within an hour. Fire officials said they both declined medical attention.

Fire crews cut open a glass window to bring the workers inside and off of the dangling scaffold. Teams opted to cut the window out rather than trying to hoiset the workers up to the roof. It is all part of a rescue the FDNY said it trains for but doesn't have to use very often, with the harrowing moves taking place 20 stories above the street.

"We were able to pull those two scaffold workers in right where they are instead of putting them in further jeopardy by pulling them further up the building," Tobin said.

The company that operates the scaffold will have to bring down the apparatus and determine what went wrong, as what caused it to give way and dangle 200 feet up.

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