Workers rescued after being trapped on scaffold at the World Trade Center

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Workers rescued after being trapped on scaffold at the World Trade Center
A firefighter looks out an opening cut into the glass of the window on the 60th floor of 1 World Trade Center after rescuing two workers from their collapsed scaffolding in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. The two window washers were trapped for more than an hour. The dramatic rescue occurred on the south side of the 1,776-foot, 104-story building, where the open-topped platform hung at about a 45-degree angle and swayed slightly in the wind. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: In this handout provided by the FDNY, a scaffold that was carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by FDNY via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold that was carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Workers weld at the World Trade Center construction site while a scaffold still hangs from the side of One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People look up at a scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A woman looks out from a car at a dangling scaffold at the 1 World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: In this handout provided by the FDNY, a scaffold that was carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by FDNY via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold that was carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
MAN ALL HANDS 1 WORLD TRADE CENTER, HIGH RISE (WORLD TRADE CENTER) SCAFFOLDING EMERGENCY, UNDER CONTROL
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the One World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers are stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
This photo, from the Fire Dept. of New York Twitter page, shows a window washer's gondola as it hangs from 1 World Trade Center, in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. Two workers are stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level. A police official, John Miller, says the partially collapsed scaffolding is hanging at "a 75-degree angle." The Fire Department said the workers are tethered and communicating with rescuers. (AP Photo/Fire Dept. of New York, Twitter)
A partially collapsed scaffolding hangs from the 1 World Trade Center in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. New York City firefighters have been called to the nation's tallest skyscraper, where two workers are stuck on scaffolding 69 stories above street level. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Heavy fog blankets lower Manhattan in New York, including One World Trade Center, center, in this view across the Hudson River from Hoboken, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. The National Weather Service said the fog reduced visibility to a quarter mile or less. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Image captured by New York station WCBS shows workers trapped on a scaffold dangling off the side of 1 World Trade Center on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.
Image captured by New York station WCBS shows workers trapped on a scaffold dangling off the side of One World Trade Center
Image captured by New York station WCBS shows workers trapped on a scaffold dangling off the side of One World Trade Center
Image captured by New York station WCBS shows workers trapped on a scaffold dangling off the side of One World Trade Center
Onlookers take cell phone pictures of stranded window washers hanging from scaffolding on the side of One World Trade Center November 12, 2014 in New York. Two window washers were rescued at the new World Trade Center Wednesday after the cable secured to their platform snapped and left them dangling 69 floors up for nearly two hours. Rescuers cut a window to reach the workers who clung to a platform suspended at a precarious angle at the south side of the building, a frightening 787 feet (240 meters) above ground at Tower 1 of the complex in lower Manhattan. Some 100 firefighters were involved in the complex rescue operation at the building, which at more than 1,770 feet is the tallest in the United States. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Stranded window washers hang from scaffolding on the side of One World Trade Center in New York November 12, 2014. The pair were rescued at the new World Trade Center Wednesday after the cable secured to their platform snapped and left them dangling 69 floors above ground for nearly two hours. Rescuers cut a window to reach the workers who clung to a platform suspended at a precarious angle a frightening 787 feet (240 meters) above ground at Tower 1 of the complex in lower Manhattan. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People look up at a scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People take photos of a scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Rescue teams break a window of 68th floor of One World Trade Center to rescue two window washers trapped on scaffolding after their platform malfunctioned on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 in NY. The 104-story supertall structure shares a name with the northern Twin Tower in the original World Trade Center that was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Construction workers look up at a scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People look up at a scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People are cleared from the Ground Zero Memorial due to a dangling scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Construction workers look up at scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Two window washers are trapped on scaffolding near the 68th floor of One World Trade Center, after their platform malfunctioned on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 in NY. The 104-story supertall structure shares a name with the northern Twin Tower in the original World Trade Center that was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Construction workers look up at scaffold carrying two workers hanging 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
#BREAKING window washers dangling from the 50th floor of new World Trade Center twr in NYC. http://t.co/7OOsKHWNck
WTC window washers emergency http://t.co/Yf7mzVUQSw
U/D Manhattan: Box 8084 at 1 World Trade Center Possible ESU reporting 2Window Washer stuck on scaffolding at 60floor http://t.co/G8UKKRptUW
Scary stuff #wtc1 http://t.co/AYMMfsI5Nw
NEW YORK: BREAKING - 2 workers said to be stuck on a dangling scaffold on the 50th floor of 1 WTC in NYC. PHOTOS - http://t.co/V4BLYY9g6z
WTC window washers are reportedly on this scaffold, which is tilted right now. Holy crap. http://t.co/5n6kw0UPW1
Live now in NY .. http://t.co/jiIxqHBr7G
Heavy fog blankets lower Manhattan in New York, including One World Trade Center, center, in this view across the Hudson River from Hoboken, N.J., Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. The National Weather Service said the fog reduced visibility to a quarter mile or less. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
One World Trade Center stands between the transportation hub, left, still under construction, and 7 World Trade Center, right, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 in New York. Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center is again opening for business, marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the United States as a whole. Publishing giant Conde Nast will start moving Monday into One World Trade Center, a 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper that dominates the Manhattan skyline. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
One World Trade Center, center, stands between the transportation hub, left, still under construction, and 7 World Trade Center, second from right, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014 in New York. Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center is again opening for business, marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the United States as a whole. Publishing giant Conde Nast will start moving Monday into One World Trade Center, a 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper that dominates the Manhattan skyline. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
One Word Trade Center as seen from the 9/11 Memorial grounds, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in New York. k. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision/AP Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold that was carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Buildings are reflected on the side of One World Trade Center as a scaffold was still dangling from the opposite side on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Workers weld at the World Trade Center construction site while a scaffold still hangs from the side of One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A person walks by the World Trade Center construction site as a scaffold was still dangling from the side of One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: People walk by One World Trade Center as a scaffold was still hanging from the side on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A cab driver takes a picture from his cab of a dangling scaffold at the 1 World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after 1 World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: A scaffold carrying two workers hangs 69 floors up at One World Trade Center on November 12, 2014 in New York City. The workers were washing windows 69 floors up soon after One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, opened. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Tourist Dawn Galley, from Manchester, England, snaps a photograph of 1 World Trade Center where a scaffolding still dangled hours after two window washers were rescued by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in New York. The accident, which officials said was caused by a malfunctioning cable, happened little more than a week after workers began moving into the nation's tallest building. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
A man uses binoculars to view a dangling scaffold containing two window washers who were stranded outside 1 World Trade in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Peggy Stewart, left, joins friends Eve and Cos Contento as they gaze up at 1 World Trade Center where a scaffolding still dangled hours after two window washers were rescued by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Tomas Vruns, from Muenster, Germany, uses his cell phone to take a picture of 1 World Trade Center where a scaffolding still dangled hours after two window washers were rescued by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in New York. The accident, which officials said was caused by a malfunctioning cable, happened little more than a week after workers began moving into the nation's tallest building. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Vegah and Pegah Habibbi of Shiraz, Iran, look up at 1 World Trade Center where a scaffolding still dangled hours after two window washers were rescued by firefighters who sawed through a window to reach them, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in New York. The accident, which officials said was caused by a malfunctioning cable, happened little more than a week after workers began moving into the nation's tallest building. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Doreen Isvister, left, and Pauline Latimer of Newcastle, England, compare photographs they snapped of a scaffolding dangling precariously on the side of 1 World Trade Center hours after two window washers were rescued by firefighters who cut through a window to reach them, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
The Tribute in Light rises behind the Brooklyn Bridge and buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center complex, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 in New York. The tribute, an art installation of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, is a remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
CORRECTS LOCATION OF THE LIGHT TO ADJACENT TO THE WTC COMPLEX, NOT 1 WTC - The Tribute in Light rises behind buildings adjacent to the World Trade Center complex and a reflecting pool at the National September 11 Memorial, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in New York. The tribute, an art installation of 88 searchlights aiming skyward in two columns, is a remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 photo, 1 World Trade Center towers above the lower Manhattan skyline in New York. Thirteen years after 9/11 forever changed the New York skyline, officials say developments at the World Trade Center are on track and on budget. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Sailboats pass below the 1 World Trade Center, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in New York. Next month will mark the 13th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Brant geese swim in New York Harbor beneath the lower Manhattan skyline, May 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Window washers descend the 36-story Centennial Tower downtown skyscraper, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Window washers descend the 36-story Centennial Tower downtown skyscraper, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
One of two window washers stranded on the side of a building when the scaffolding he was working on snapped steps through an opening in a glass to the safety of the skyscraper he was working on in New York, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
CORRECTS DESCRIPTION OF WORKERS TO MAINTENANCE WORKERS INSTEAD OF WINDOW WASHERS - People look to the top of the 600-foot high Hearst skyscraper as two maintenance workers whose scaffolding collapsed are rescued by firefighters during the afternoon in midtown Manhattan in New York, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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By PETER MARTINEZ and RYAN GORMAN

Two window washers were rescued Wednesday afternoon from a malfunctioning scaffold that dangled dozens of floors above the street at the new World Trade Center.

The high-altitude drama started just before 1:00 p.m. when the platform dropped steeply on one side after a cable slackened as it lowered down to the 69th floor, officials said. The window washers, identified as Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama, were rescued about 90 minutes later.

Neither Lopez nor Lizama suffered any serious injuries.

New York Fire Department and Port Authority Police rescue workers descended on One World Trade Center, which opened to tenants only last week, within minutes of the incident, according to Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the building.

Initial reports suggested the cable snapped, but officials were quick to point out that no cables broke, and that they instead somehow developed slack, which caused the platform both washers were in to drop on its left side and dangle at about a 75-degree angle.

The dramatic rescue operation watched live by millions as news helicopters hovered overhead started when firefighters dropped a rope from the 1,776-foot tall building's roof down to the scaffold in order to secure it, footage showed.

Firefighters then used a diamond saw to cut through the skyscraper's two-inch, three-layer thick reinforced windows in order to reach the men, authorities said.

Also known as the Freedom Tower, the building's windows cannot be opened without being broken or removed.

At about 1,000-pounds each, removal was not an option with the scaffold dangling just inches away. And at a staggering height, repelling down the side of the building or scaling it using special suction cups also were not seen as viable.

Rescuers simultaneously lowered a second scaffold from the roof down the building's south side just above the trapped window washers, in case the firefighters could not get through the glass.

Temperatures were unseasonably warm, in the mid-60s, Wednesday in New York, but an approaching cold front added an element of urgency to the operation since temperatures are expected to plummet through the 40s shortly after sunset.

About 90-minutes into the rescue operation, firefighters were able to open a giant gap in the Freedom Tower's glass facade, peel them back to keep the glass from harming the window washers and then quickly pull them to safety without any serious threat to their safety.

Despite the relatively mild weather, the two trapped workers were found by paramedics on the scene to have suffered from mild hypothermia from the ordeal, officials said. Outside of bumps and bruises, no other injuries occurred.

Lopez and Lizama, first identified by NY1, are expected to make a full recovery.

Visitors to the 9/11 Memorial were told to stand back Wednesday afternoon as the dramatic rescue operation got underway. Officials could be heard on television shouting at tourists and reporters alike to move as firefighters worked to break through the heavy-gauge glass.

Construction crews and emergency responders were still working late Wednesday afternoon to pull the scaffold back up the side of the gleaming new building, officials said.

Tenants of the U.S.' tallest skyscraper, including some 175 employees of Condé Nast, officially moved last week into the heavily fortified $3.9 billion tower that is the centerpiece of a 16-acre memorial site on the ground formerly occupied by the Twin Towers and a handful of other buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001.

About 3,000 more Condé Nast employees are expected to move in by early next year, eventually occupying 25 floors, the media firm previously announced.

One World Trade Center stands at 1,776 feet, including the spire atop the roof, and boasts 104 stories.

FDNY Rescues Window Washers Dangling From World Trade Center


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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