, NEW YORK, Nov 13 – Two window washers were rescued at the new World Trade Centre Wednesday after the cable secured to their platform snapped and left them dangling 69 floors up for nearly two hours.
Rescuers cut through a window to reach the workers who clung to a platform suspended at a precarious angle at the south side of the building, a frightening 787 feet (240 meters) above ground at Tower One of the complex in lower Manhattan.
Some 100 firefighters were involved in the complex rescue operation at the building, which at 1,776 feet is the tallest in the United States.
It took rescuers nearly an hour to reach the two men, who suffered mild hypothermia, said New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“They were quiet, they didn’t say much,” Nigro told reporters.
Rescuers cut a diamond-shaped hole out of three layers of glass on the 68th floor and brought the washers inside the building. READ: One World Trade Centre opens for business.
Before they were recovered, firefighters had suspended a cable to secure the dangling platform and communicated via radio with the two men, who were described as experienced window washers.
Rescuers had contemplated sending another platform for the men, but decided it was too risky to transfer them to another rig at that height.
Ambulances, fire trucks and helicopters were dispatched to the scene and the area around the building in downtown New York City was cordoned off.
The window washers were wearing safety harnesses and therefore were not in grave danger, authorities said, while forecasters reported light winds of 7 miles (11 kilometres) per hour.
The building, which stands on the ground of the former World Trade Centre that was attacked on September 11, 2001, reopened only last week.
There are already 175 Conde Nast employees working in the building, with 3,400 hundred additional staffers expected to join the company at the WTC in the New Year.
The 104-story edifice was designed by architect David Childs and has already become a New York landmark, with its clean lines, spire top and glass and mirror facade.
The new WTC site includes a total of five towers, a memorial site, a museum, a train station, a performance area and commercial space.