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Firefighters stage dramatic rescue after scaffold breaks, leaving two workers dangling from building

A rescue worker lowers from rooftop of high rise building to rescue 2 workers left dangling after a scaffolding collapse on the 6th floor. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS)

For an hour Wednesday afternoon, two men who were working on the east side of a Hallandale Beach condo were left suspended by their harnesses in the air after the scaffold they were on partially broke.

At 3 p.m., Fire Rescue crews were called about two workers who were trapped at the sixth floor  of the Hemispheres Condominium at 1950 S Ocean Drive. A cable that supports the scaffold broke, Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue Chief Michael Kane said, leaving it hanging at an angle and the two men stranded 70 feet above ground.

Fire rescue crews spent nearly an hour determining whether they would rescue the two men by raising a ladder truck with a bucket up to them or by lowering rescuers down to them from the roof. The men weren’t able to raise or lower themselves without the working scaffold, Kane said.

By shortly after 4 p.m., crews rescued one worker by attaching a harness to his harness and lowering him to the ground while rescue crews used a ladder truck with a bucket to bring down the other, Kane said. Both were not injured.

Television images captured one worker standing on the end of the tilted scaffold with his back against the condo wall, his right arm gripping a cable above his head. A rescuer walked slowly down the condo wall from the roof, back to the ground, holding onto ropes with other rescuers watching from above. After the rescuer approached the first worker and attached him to the harness, the rescuer and worker were lowered in tandem.

Several minutes later, the second worker who was standing on the other end of the scaffold, that was nearly at a 90-degree angle, backed into the ladder truck’s bucket and was lowered down, the video shows.


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