NEW YORK — Two window washers dangling from the 69th floor of the One World Trade Center were rescued Wednesday after fire department teams cut through glass one floor below and pulled them to safety.
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.
Spokesman Frank Dwyer saids emergency teams were in communication with the workers who were uninjured. Rescuers lowered a radio down while they were trapped in the dangerous tilting scaffold.
The rescuers cut six-foot high holes through the thick, multi-layered glass. The two workers were tethered to the scaffold and were pulled inside one by one.
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.
Contributing: Associated Press