Most memorable scaffolding rescues

A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on Nov. 12, 2014 in New York City.
A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on Nov. 12, 2014 in New York City.

Two window washers at 1 World Trade Center had to be rescued Wednesday after the scaffolding they were on partially collapsed. The workers were left dangling for just over an hour 68 stories in the air. 

New York Fire Department officials say one of the motorized cables on the scaffolding gave way, which forced it to tilt at a nearly 45-degree angle.  The fire department said the workers were wearing their harnesses.

Eventually, crews were able to use a diamond saw to cut through three layers of glass, attach an extra harness and pull the two men through the hole that had been cut.  Both men were taken to local hospitals with minor hypothermia.


Here are some other memorable moments when workers had to be rescued from a collapsed scaffolding:


Three workers were left dangling under a bridge and one trapped in debris below when their scaffolding collapsed in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Two workers were rescued with a cherry picker. A technical rescue team had to get the remaining dangling worker. The fourth worker was removed from the rubble. All four workers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.



Stephen Schmidt and Victor Carabello were doing routine maintenance at the Hearst Building in New York City when the middle motor of the scaffolding lost power and suddenly buckled.  Firefighters were able to secure the twisted metal and cut through a window on the 44th floor to pull the two men free with no major injuries.

JULY 25, 2012 – LAS VEGAS

Four window washers were rescued by firefighters at the Vdara hotel after being stranded for three hours in 104-degree weather outside the 35th floor.  According to the hotel spokeswoman at the time, the workers’ platform apparently stalled due to a mechanical malfunction.  Firefighters descended from the roof to harness and lower the workers one at a time to a landing area below.