Two Window Washers Rescued After Platform Malfunction High Above 53rd Street
By Ben Fractenberg
MIDTOWN — Two window washers were left dangling high over 53rd Street Wednesday morning after the platform they were working on malfunction and almost pitched them to the street below, the FDNY said.
The two unidentified men were washing windows 42 stories up near the roof of 1301 Sixth Ave. around 10:30 a.m. when the incident occurred. One of the motors that lifts the platform up cables along side the building malfunctioned, causing the platform to tilt at a dangerous angle, fire officials said.
“We saw stuff falling. We saw the cart go sideways and then we got the hell out of there,” said Stacy White, 33, who was on her way to a conference at the Hilton Hotel across the street from the incident.
While responders worked to rescue the men, bystanders continued to sip coffee at Lou's Cafe, oblivious to the drama taking place overhead. They were eventually moved away by police.
Luckily the workers were strapped to the platform. One worker was able to grab a railing and pull himself to safety. Emergency responders were able to lift the other window washer off the platform, a fire official said.
The fire department and NYPD responded to the scene and closed off 53rd Street as a safety precaution. No injuries have been reported.
Over 50 onlookers watched from the street as the fire department attempted to secure the platform after the incident.