US & Canada

Window washers rescued from high up World Trade Center

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Media captionAs Tim Allman reports, a firefighter described the rescue as 'a fairly straightforward operation'

New York firefighters have rescued two window cleaners who were trapped on a collapsed cradle 69 storeys above the ground at the World Trade Center site.

Footage showed the workers rescued through a hole cut in one of the glass windows of One World Trade Center.

The Fire Department of New York earlier told the BBC the two people were uninjured and tethered.

The call came in at 12:42 EST (17:42 GMT) and firefighters were on the scene in less than four minutes, it said.

The window cleaners were pulled inside at around 14:15 EST.

The rescued men were identified as Juan Lopez, who has been a window cleaner for five years, and Juan Lizama, who has been on the job for 14 years, Gerard McEneaney, a labour union official, told Reuters.

The 1,776ft (541m) tower opened for business last week as the first of 3,000 employees of publishing giant Conde Nast moved into their new offices there.

A police official said the partially collapsed cradle was hanging at "a 75-degree angle".

The cable on the cradle apparently broke as it retracted towards the roof of the building.

People on the ground were moved back in case glass fell from One World Trade Center, the country's tallest skyscraper.

Gary Hansen, an architect who worked on the building, happened to be across the street during the incident.

Mr Hansen told Reuters the building was designed with three cranes on top, two to suspend platforms and one for emergencies.

"These are the kind of emergencies architects plan for," he said.

Image copyright FDNY
Image copyright Reuters