Contractor behind WTC scaffold collapse cited in previous incidents, one deadly

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Contractor behind WTC scaffold collapse cited in previous incidents, one deadly
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
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
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)
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By RYAN GORMAN

The company contracted by the owners of One World Trade Center is keeping mum about Wednesday's life-threatening scaffold failure – and two other incidents.

The Tractel Group, based in the United Kingdom, built and maintains the scaffolds used by window washers at the $3.9 billion skyscraper. The firm's equipment also failed last year and in 2008, killing one person.

The firm was hired by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center complex, despite this dubious record. The government agency has yet to return a message left seeking comment.

A 2008 incident involving a scaffold collapse 47 floors over Manhattan, which occurred only months after Tractel repaired the faulty equipment, resulted in the death of one of two window washers aboard.

Tractel was fined $21,000 for the incident.

A separate Tractel scaffold "snapped" in June 2013, leaving two window washers dangling 500 feet above horrified onlookers in midtown Manhattan.

They were rescued after firefighters sawed through the building's glass façade and pulled them to safety.

An AOL News call to Tractel seeking comment was rebuffed by a woman who would not give her name.

"We have no comment at this time," she said before abruptly ending the call.

Revelations of the prior incidents came on the day after a scaffold hanging at about the 68th floor of America's tallest building, also known as the Freedom Tower suddenly slackened and left two window washers dangling above the World Trade Center.

Workers Juan Lopez and Juan Lizama were stuck for about 90 minutes but suffered only mild hypothermia by the time firefighters sawed through the brand new building's gleaming glass exterior to pull them to safety as millions around the world watched the rescue live on television.

Lopez and Lizama work for Upgrade Services Window Cleaning. The company has said only that both men are "doing well."

The $3.9 billion One World Trade Center opened only last week, when publisher Conde Nast moved about 175 employees onto lower floors.

The 68th floor, where firefighters sawed through the glass, is still under construction and not yet occupied.

The Freedom Tower stands 1,776-feet tall. It is the tallest building in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

The building towers above the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum, which mark the footprints of the original Twin Towers that collapsed during the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Dangling WTC Window Cleaners Rescued

Related links:
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