NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A civil engineer rescued from a scaffold collapse in Manhattan spoke exclusively to CBS 2’s Mark Morgan about his ordeal.

The scaffold slipped around 10:15 a.m. Friday on East 65th Street between Second and Third Avenues, standing three men 17 stories up.

“One side of the scaffold started to slip very fast. I don’t know what happened or why. It just started to slip very fast,” said Anmar Mohammed of Astoria.

As NYPD emergency services and firefighters sprang into action, Mohammed said he was clinging so desperately to keep from falling that he lost feeling in his hands and feet.

NYPD Detective James Coll came to his rescue.

“I didn’t even see how he got there. I just saw him right there with me on the scaffold, tying me up,” he said.

Coll and other emergency workers then pulled Mohammed through a broken window inside to safety.

anmar mohammed Exclusive: Engineer Rescued From Scaffold Collapse Speaks Out

Anmar Mohammed (credit: CBS 2)

“I couldn’t say thank you enough to all of them. It was really amazing and all the efforts they put, they risked their lives just to save us,” he said.

“I was lucky, even though it was Friday the 13th. Without their help, I don’t think I would have been here now,” he added.

Mohammed didn’t get a chance to thank  Detective Coll in person, so he emailed a letter of gratitude.

A deputy buildings commissioner told CBS 2 an apparent brake problem in one of the cable motors set the scaffold dangling at a 45-degree angle.

“I just was praying they weren’t going to fall,” bystander Matthew Marco said.

“I looked up and they were on the scaffold and I couldn’t believe it,” said bystander Jenna Reynoso.

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