CANADA (CNN Newsource) — Video captured by a witness shows a window washing platform swinging back and forth, smashing through windows in the Stantec Tower building in downtown Edmonton, Alberta.
After several impacts, one of the two window washers on the platform falls off, but, luckily, is saved by his harness.
All of the employees were safely rescued and were reported uninjured after being accessed by paramedics.
“It just happened so quickly, you know,” said witness Anivil Chand. “The wind just hit and then, boom, it started swinging and you can’t control that.”
The platform, slamming against western Canada’s tallest tower several times, but what happens next is what really shocked those watching.
One of the two window washers on the platform falls off, saved by his harness.
“We said, ‘Somebody call 911,'” said Wanda Terlecki, who works on the 11th floor of Stantec Tower. “They called in and we just stood there watching the guy’s feet dangle.”
Emergency crews arrived minutes later, setting up a ladder truck to reach the dangling worker.
“I had to walk away, I couldn’t watch,” said Terlecki. “I couldn’t watch. I thought he was going to fall. Like… fall.”
“We had our technical rescue team here but they did not have to go into action because we were able to get the reach required of the ladder, so it was a matter of getting him into the bucket and getting him down,” said Scott MacDonald of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
After being brought to the ground, the worker was assessed by paramedics and was uninjured. The second worker and the platform were also brought down safely. The roadway was blocked off for hours for the rescue and clean up.
“There’s still glass hanging from the windows right now, there’s broken windows, so that’s what we’re still dealing with right now is the safety hazard involved with that,” MacDonald said.
It’s unclear whether the window washers started working before a wind warning was issued, or if they knew it was in effect while they were on the platform. Occupational Health and Safety is investigating.