What happened at the World Trade Center?

Panic and peril seize Ground Zero as two workers dangle in thin air

by Angelica Marino
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(© Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

 

Dangling from a world famous skyscraper 69 stories above ground may sound more like a job for a stuntman than a window washer, but it’s exactly what happened to Juan Lizama and Juan Lopez yesterday.

 

 

 (© Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

 

Talk about a shaky start to a new beginning! Ground zero was nearly struck by tragedy once again after 13 years of recovery and the opening of the new One World Trade Center. The two window washers, Juan Lizama and Juan Lopez were left hanging on their rig after one of the supporting cables gave out. They were outside the 69th floor of the much anticipated, symbolic tower.

 

 

 (© Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

 

Officials say equipment brake failure was the cause of the incident which caused the rig to slant to a near 90 degree angle. The scene instantly grabbed the attention of passersby, who quickly called safety officials to the perilous scene.

 

The FDNY soon came to the rescue, climbing to the top of the building to lower a radio down to the trapped workers. The rope used to lower the radio was also used to secure the men, who were fastened to the pendant rig with harnesses.

 

 

 (© Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

 

Firefighters devised the solution to cut through the glass window of the 68th floor and pull the men in to safety. The plan was not without its risks, as cutting glass at such high altitudes can cause it to shatter, injuring people nearby. The operation was carried out without any complications, as the men were pulled in by firefighters who first stabilized the rig and helped them to safety.

 

 

 (© Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

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    One World Trade Center

    New York / United States / 2014