Scaffold Collapse Leads to Rescue in SF

Men dangled for 25 minutes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two window washers were rescued from a high-rise in San  Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood Thursday morning after the scaffolding they  were on gave way, a fire department spokeswoman said.

        Firefighters were called to the 17-story residential building at  310 Berry St. near Fifth Street at about 8:35 a.m., San Francisco fire  spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.     It appears that the ropes on one side of the scaffolding had given  way, Talmadge said.
        Crews found the two workers hanging by their harnesses from the  scaffolding -- which was practically vertical -- one near the bottom of the  scaffolding and another near the top. Despite hanging in the air, the workers seemed  "pretty calm," according to rescuers.
        Rescuers were able to pull the worker near the top to the roof,  she said. He suffered serious injuries and was taken to San Francisco General  Hospital.
        A ladder was set up to try to reach the second worker, but it was  too short, so firefighters went into the 14th floor of the building and  pulled the worker inside at about 9 a.m., Talmadge said. He was not seriously  injured.
        She did not know whether the scaffolding collapsed due to worker  error or an equipment malfunction. The California Division of Occupational  Safety and Health is responding to investigate.
        Talmadge said the harnesses the workers were wearing prevented  them from falling.
        "They have them for a reason," she said.
        Rodney Blanchard, a worker with AT&T who was installing fiber  optic cable nearby, caught the incident on video on his cellphone.

    Bay City News