Fla. firefighters rescue workers left dangling after scaffold breaks

Broward County rescuers were lowered to the workers, who were suspended 70 feet in the air


Angie DiMichele
South Florida Sun Sentinel

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — 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.

A rescue worker came down from the rooftop of a high-rise building at 1950 Ocean Dr. in Hallandale Beach, Florida, to rescue two workers that were left dangling on the east side of the building after a scaffolding collapse on the sixth floor.
A rescue worker came down from the rooftop of a high-rise building at 1950 Ocean Dr. in Hallandale Beach, Florida, to rescue two workers that were left dangling on the east side of the building after a scaffolding collapse on the sixth floor. (Photo/Mike Stocker)

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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©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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