NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two workers were rescued from a scaffold Friday morning after it became stuck at a 14-story building in East Harlem.
It happened around 9:45 a.m. on Lexington Avenue and 98th Street.
Officers were flagged down after two workers were seen dangling the broken scaffolding, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported. Images from the scene showed the scaffolding dangling from one side near the top of the building.
“They were holding on, and that’s when they started yelling,” said witness Vera Acosta.
The officers went up to the roof and tried to make contact with the men until emergency services units arrived. Once they came, ESU members went to the 13th floor and pulled the workers to safety through a window.
The men were rescued after about 20 minutes. Officials described how they calmed the men down.
“You look at body language, and obviously they were a little scared, but just to reassure them it’s going to be fine,” said Detective Keith Connelly. “”We’re going to lower some ropes. You’re going to be on our system. You’re not going to fall,’ and usually that calms them down.”
“When the police were banging on the door and the house was full with Fire Department people, NYPD, I was like, ‘Is this really happening right now? Like, this man is dangling from the window,” said Shadae Bosley, whose apartment window was used for the rescue.
Bosley said she did not understand what language the workers were speaking, but said the look in their eyes said enough.
“He was like really shaken up. He was like stumbling around,” she said. “And we were like, ‘Are you OK?’ and he just seemed like in another world.”
Police described the incident as a motor failure of the scaffolding, Bauman reported.
The workers were taken to the hospital for trauma, but not for any injuries. Police said both were wearing harnesses that were secured to the building.
The site manager said the scaffolding had been inspected May 6. Four hours after the scare, it was taken down.
The project manager said construction at the site could be on hold for two weeks.