High winds caused a window washer in Edmonton, Alberta, to fall from scaffolding hanging several stories above street level.
Video footage recorded by an onlooker shows the moment when two window washers at the Stantec Tower in downtown Edmonton were caught in a gust on Friday afternoon.
The winds blow the scaffolding out over the street multiple times, sending the tip of the platform crashing into the building’s glass windows.
“It just happened so quickly, you know? And the wind just hit and then boom, it just started swinging and like you can’t control that,” said witness Avinil Chand.
At one point during the video, the impact is so hard that it sends one of the men over the edge. A woman is heard screaming in the background as the man dangles from the platform, his safety harness the only thing keeping him from falling to the ground below.
“There was some maintenance happening on swing stages on the side of the building and something happened, I’m not sure exactly what caused it, but one of the guys was hanging from a safety harness,” said Scott Macdonald, deputy chief of operation with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
Emergency crews arrived minutes later and used a ladder truck to rescue the man and bring the scaffolding down.
“They were just able to reach the individual with the aerial ladder,” Macdonald told reporters. “So we had our technical rescue team here but they didn’t have to go into action because we were able to get the reach required with the ladder.”
“So just a matter of getting into the bucket and bringing him down,” he concluded.
Thankfully, no one involved in the incident was hurt.
“I had to walk away. I couldn’t watch,” recalled Wanda Terlecki, who works inside Stantec Tower. “We thought he was going to fall. My guts are still killing me,” she said.
Following the harrowing event on Friday, Edmonton Fire Rescue tweeted its thanks to the additional emergency crews for their help in rescuing the man from such a perilous situation.
“Eventful afternoon in downtown
#yeg. Harsh winds blew scaffolding into Stantec Tower calling on the need for both a Ladder Truck & the Technical Rescue Team,” the post read.
“Crews working on the scaffolding were secured properly and are fortunately unharmed. Thank you @ahs_ems & @edmontonpolice!”