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Window Washer Dies in 6-Story Flatiron Fall After Harness Fails, Police Say

By  Trevor Kapp Janon Fisher and Shaye Weaver | August 7, 2017 1:03pm 

 A 56-year-old window washer plummeted six-stories to his death after his harness failed at 60 Madison Avenue.
A 56-year-old window washer plummeted six-stories to his death after his harness failed at 60 Madison Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

FLATIRON DISTRICT— A window washer plummeted six stories to his death Monday morning when the hook his safety harness was attached to abruptly broke, police and the worker's colleague said.

The unidentified 56-year-old man was working on the 12th floor of 60 Madison Ave., near East 27th Street, about 10:30 a.m. when his equipment gave way and he fell onto a 6th-floor interior courtyard, police and witnesses said.

"The hook broke, and he fell from 12 to six," said his distraught partner, Marino Puelles, who was nearby at the time.

Both of the men were working for Creative Window Cleaning, according to an OSHA, which is investigating the incident. The company did not immediately respond to a request for information about the fatality.

A witness who works for a software developer on the 7th floor said he heard the worker hit the ground.

"There was a loud bang. I look out the window and saw the body," said Nelson Schoenbrot, 25. "There was a lot of blood."

Schoenbrot called 911, and the dispatcher asked him to go administer life support to the man, who had landed face first.

"I touched his back. They asked if he was breathing. I said, 'No.' He didn't seem to be breathing. They told me to flip him over and start doing compressions. Eventually the police came and took over."

The worker, who's from The Bronx, was taken to Bellevue hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Schoenbrot said he was stunned by the incident.

"It's tough. I don't know what to say right now," he said.

The Moinian Group, which manages the building, didn't immediately respond to requests for information about the fatality either.

A representative for OSHA said the agency doesn't comment on an open inspections and that it can take six months to complete one.