Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Sydney Window Cleaners Scaffold Cable Snap Horror

One of the window cleaners is attended to by paramedics as he lays on the roof of a ute.
Morning horror: Window cleaners fall from tower block (Sydney): Two window cleaners were lucky to survive a 12-storey plunge from a high-rise building yesterday after the cable on the metal cage they were working in snapped. Bystanders rushed to help the badly injured men, one aged in his mid-20s and the other in his 50s, who had been cleaning windows on the Australian Stock Exchange in the Sydney CBD.

One of two injured male window cleaners is rescued by emergency services from the scene.
After a dramatic rescue they were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital with leg, back and internal ­injuries. Both were described as “serious but stable”. Witnesses said the pair plummeted from near the top of the 55m-high ASX building at the corner of Pitt and Bridge Sts, with one of the men crashing onto an awning with the cage on top of him while the other was left dangling by his harness from the awning.

The other window cleaner, out of view, is attended to by paramedics as he lies on the awning above the street.
A plumber who wanted to be known only as Matthew said: “I saw a guy hanging close to the ground from his harness, then someone drove a ute (utility vehicle) under the awning to help get him down. “A lot of people tried to help him. They were touching his feet to see if he was OK.”

It is understood that the window cleaners’ platform collapsed, sending them plummeting onto an awning.
One of the cleaners was moved on top of the ute so that he could be stabilised before rescuers arrived, and a ladder was used to reach the older man on the awning. The older man was ­retrieved by a Fire and Rescue NSW cherry picker and stretchered to an ambulance.

Emergency rescue officers remove one of two injured male window cleaners.
Mathew Halpin, who was conducting fire safety maintenance on a nearby building, said there was a huge bang when the men landed. “About an hour before that I saw them cleaning the windows,” he said. “They were about three-quarters of the way up the building.”

Con Triantafillou, who works across the road, said: “We all looked out the window, the cable had snapped and we saw the whole scaffold with two guys plunge straight down. We heard the thump.” The younger man who was dangling by his harness is understood to have back and internal injuries and the older man lower leg injuries.

Members of the public hold ropes to secure the cage that two window workers fell from while emergency services rescue the men.
Another witness said both men were moving after the ­accident but there was a lot of blood on the cage. “If the harness wasn’t there he probably would have died,” he said. “The tough thing was because they were so high up nobody could really help.” 

Police speak to members of the public as they watch the window cleaners being rescued.
NSW Ambulance acting superintendent Brad Goodwin said: “Both men were conscious and responsive when ambulance and emergency services arrived. “They fell from close to the top of the building ... they are very lucky (not to have been killed).” A representative of the cleaning company said he understood both men were “stable” but did not comment further.

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