WILDLY SWING­ING BAS­KET

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - TOP STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD -

Two win­dow wash­ers were trapped for nearly an hour on a dan­gling bas­ket at the top of a 50-story sky­scraper in Ok­la­homa on Wed­nes­day 15 May.

Ter­ri­fy­ing footage cap­tured the bas­ket as it swung out of con­trol while fire­fight­ers tried to res­cue the work­ers from the Devon Tower in Ok­la­homa City.

The scaf­fold, which was dan­gling from a crane, banged against the sides of the 850-foot build­ing that ex­tended 20 feet above the roof as the men clutched the rail­ing.

Fire chiefs said it ap­peared the crane stopped work­ing when safety fea­tures kicked in be­cause of high winds.

The two men be­came stranded shortly be­fore 7.45am on Wed­nes­day out­side the tower.

The cra­dle was seen swing­ing wildly and even broke win­dows as it con­tin­ued to spin in the air.

Ok­la­homa City Fire De­part­ment Deputy Chief Michael Walker said it was likely the crane’s safety fea­tures had ‘kicked in’ be­cause of the ‘high wind gusts that started af­fect­ing their op­er­a­tion’.

He said emer­gency crews had to get rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the crane firm on the phone to find out how to over­ride the safety mech­a­nisms to get the crane to move.

‘Our first pri­or­ity was to stop the cra­dle from sway­ing in the wind as much as it was,’ Walker said.

Fire­fight­ers on the scene man­aged to get the crane to cen­tre and lower the arm ‘just a bit’, al­low­ing them to throw ropes out to the two men.

They then brought the bas­ket down to the roof.

The men were pulled to safety at around 8.30 am, an hour in to the or­deal.

Paramedics eval­u­ated the men, who both re­fused treat­ment.

There were winds of be­tween 7 and 14mph near ground level in the area, but the speeds were likely to be much higher at the top of the tower, ac­cord­ing to Ac­cuweather Se­nior Me­te­o­rol­o­gist Alex Sos­nowski.

He added that the two spires at the top of the tower would have had a fun­nel­ing ef­fect, caus­ing the dra­matic sway­ing of the scaf­fold.

A full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ac­ci­dent is un­der­way, ac­cord­ing to Ok­la­homa City Fire Capt David Macy.

Ter­ri­fy­ing footage cap­tured the bas­ket as it swung out of con­trol while fire­fight­ers tried to res­cue the work­ers from the Devon Tower in Ok­la­homa City

Emer­gency crews had to get rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the crane firm on the phone to find out how to over­ride the safety mech­a­nisms to get the crane to move

Devon En­ergy of­fi­cials said the two men were con­trac­tors. The com­pany will also in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent Two win­dow wash­ers were trapped for nearly an hour on a dan­gling bas­ket at the top of a 50-story sky­scraper in Ok­la­homa

This photo shows the win­dows that were bro­ken as the bas­ket spun wildly out of con­trol

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