The New York fire department (FDNY) has done a commendable job of saving from certain death two window washers dangling from a collapsed platform outside the 69th floor façade of the 1 World Trade Center building.
The cleaners were identified as Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama, both experienced window washer who have been on the job for 5 years and 14 years, respectively.
It has emerged one of the davit cables of the window cleaning trolley has snapped, leaving the platform dangling at one end at a precarious 75-degree angle. The two men were literally hanging for their lives 69 stories above the ground for about 90 minutes before the FDNY came up with carefully devised plans to rescue them.
According to The Guardian report, FDNY developed a couple of plans to save the two cleaners. One is to cut with a diamond saw through the glass window façade directly where the basket hangs and pull the two to safety. The back-up plan involved lowering a second basket then pulls them up.
The first plan proved to be successful before the second trolley reached the dangling platform.
Onlookers below watched in horror as the dramatic rescue slowly unfolds above them.
“Things like this happen all the time in the city,” construction manager Ray Elmadolar who was working in the nearby building told The Mirror. “But you don’t want it to happen so high up.”“These are the kind of emergencies architects plan for,” said architect Gary Hansen who happens to be nearby. Hansen said he was one of those who worked in the One World Trade Center and explained the building has three crane davits – two of which the platform is now using, another one for spare.(Click here to read more)