world trade center
Photo by Alex Flint Via Flickr

Two window washers working at 1 World Trade Center were trapped in a dangling scaffold that hung 68 stories above ground level on the building’s face this afternoon.

At 1,776 feet in height, 104 stories, 1 World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

The New York Times reported:

The workers, who are harnessed to the scaffolding of the window washing equipment, are uninjured and in communication with fire officials, according to the authorities.

The machine that lowered them down the building’s facade malfunctioned shortly after 1p.m.

The workers were on their way to the top of the tower when one of the motorized cables supporting the scaffold snapped or came loose, fire officials told WNBC.

Frank Dwyer, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said that firefighters were working to ensure that the cables attached to the scaffolding were secured.

Then they would have two options: either send firefighters rappelling down the side of the building to pull the workers to safety or cut a hole in the window and pull them inside.

The scaffold was hanging at a sharp angle, however the workers were in harnesses and secure, and were not in imminent danger, fire officials said. Crews lowered extra harnesses for added safety, WNBC reported.

After of hour of being suspended hundred of feet above ground level, Fire crews cut through a window 68 stories up and gently pulled the two men inside to safety.

The men have been washing windows for 14 and five years, but neither had experienced an event like this in their careers.

“They’re a lot older now than they were two hours ago,” Thomas Van Essen, a former New York fire commissioner, told WNBC on air.

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