NEW YORK — Two window washers trapped on scaffolding Wednesday were rescued by the New York City Fire Department after dangling at a precarious angle 69 stories up the side of 1 World Trade Center, the nation’s tallest building.
Firefighters hauled the workers in from the south side of the 1,776-foot, 104-story building, where the open-topped scaffolding was dangling at what officials said was a 75-degree angle and swaying slightly in the wind.
A cable on the scaffolding apparently broke around 1 p.m., according to Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building.
It was not immediately clear what rescue measures were planned. Rescuers could be seen dropping cables to the scaffolding and the fire department tweeted a photograph of rescuers inside the building looking at the dangling platform.
People on the ground were moved back in case glass began flying. Office workers and construction workers streamed onto a nearby street, their necks craned upward to watch the scaffold as it is waved in the wind. Dozens of emergency vehicles lined the street.
Carol Thomas and Lisa Cogliano, who both work for an insurance company, were returning to their nearby office from a meeting.
“Oh God, I don’t want to know what he is feeling,” said Thomas. “I can’t imagine.”
“It’s horrific,” said Cogliano. “Hopefully, they find a way to get him out.”