After one of their cables became slack, the scaffolding of two high-rise window washers tilted down to a nearly vertical position this Wednesday outside the glass of New York’s World Trade Center (WTC) leaving them dangling for over an hour.
Juan Lizama has been washing windows for 14 years, and his co-worker Juan Lopez has been at the task for five. Nonetheless, even an experienced window washer can have a bad day, and in their line of work, a bad day could be one’s last day.
The WTC is 104 stories high and is America’s tallest building. These workers were caught dangling between the 67th and 68th floor for about an hour and a half. The NYFD and NYPD came to their aid, lowering a rope and a radio from the roof far above. The rope secured the men as they were moved to safety, and the radio allowed them to communicate with rescue personnel.
Since rescue workers had to cut through three layers of solid glass, using a diamond-tipped saw on some of those layers, to reach the window washers, those who work on the inside of the WTC can feel more confident than ever about the safety of those windows. Window washers may take a different feeling away from the story, but we can all now appreciate more fully what they go through in their dangerous job. Commenters like Christian Boda praise the bravery of these men. We expect that washing windows pays well when one has to hang on the outside of a skyscraper to do it, but some of us still aren’t too anxious to apply for the job.