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Workers dangling on World Trade Center scaffolding


Workers dangling on World Trade Center scaffolding

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NEW YORK (AP) — Two window washers were trapped on scaffolding Wednesday and dangling at a precarious angle 69 stories up the side of 1 World Trade Center, the nation’s tallest building.

New York City firefighters were trying to rescue the two 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.

The Fire Department said the workers were tethered and communicating with rescuers.

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.”

The silvery skyscraper, which rose from the ashes of the Sept. 11, 2001, reopened just last week to 175 employees of the magazine publishing giant Conde Nast. About 3 000 more Conde Nast employees are expected to move in by early next year, eventually occupying 25 floors of the $3.9 billion tower.

Steps away from the new tower are two memorial fountains built on the footprints of the decimated twin towers, a reminder of the more than 2 700 people who died in the terrorist attack.