BOSTON – Two window washers clinging to a dangling platform 37 stories up on a downtown Boston building were rescued by firefighters Wednesday.
Firefighters broke a couple of windows on the 40-story building to get to the workers, who were stranded after their hanging platform malfunctioned and one side of the basket dropped, Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.
Authorities secured the area from pedestrians while glass fell from the building near the end of the busy morning commute.
The platform somehow shifted downward on one side while the workers, whose names have not been released, were cleaning windows on the 37th floor, MacDonald said. They were trapped on the platform until firefighters arrived.
David Surprenant, a private contractor who works on the 38th floor, said the workers could be heard banging on the window and screaming for someone to call 911.
"They were panicking," Surprenant said.
Meanwhile, a curious crowd gathered below, while some took photos of the scene with cell phones.
One of the workers was transported to a hospital for evaluation, and the other refused medical care, officials said. Neither one was seriously injured.
Melissa Coley, spokeswoman for building owner, Brookfield Properties, Inc., said the men worked for Harvard Maintenance Inc., a national company that services office buildings. She said investigators were still trying to determine if a cable snapped.
A spokeswoman for Harvard Maintenance Inc. did not immediately return phone calls.
By late morning, authorities were still trying to stabilize the dangling platform from the building.