First Responders Rescue Window Washers From Stuck Rig in Lower Manhattan

Fire officials said the rig got stuck on the side of the 27-story building Tuesday morning

Firefighters and police rescued window washers who got stuck on a slanted rig 17 stories up outside a building in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday morning, officials said.

Chopper 4 footage from the scene at 33 Maiden Lane in the Financial District showed NYPD Emergency Services Unit Officer Robert Mirfield rappelling down from the roof of the Federal Reserve building to help secure the window washers in the tilted rig.

Mirfield then helped the two washers walk down the rig and into a window on the 16th floor that had been busted open. The two men then were brought inside the building. 

"I said to the guys on the scaffold, 'Who is going first?,'" he said. '"I made sure their lines were secured and put another safety line on as well. Then I passed them through the window."

Both window washers were then taken to New York Downtown Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries. Mirfield said they weren't panicked by the experience, though.

"They were calm guys," he said. "These guys work heights, so you can imagine, not an easy job to do."

But witnesses watching from the ground weren't so collected. Several gazed up at the site with bated breath until both men were pulled to safety.

"I was like, 'Oh my god, somebody's up there,'" Rozelle Castillo recalled.

The rig, which the FDNY said had some sort of defect, was leveled before noon.

The mishap will be investigated by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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