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Workers rescued from high above New York streets

Workers rescued from high above New York streets
Chris Gathmann/iReport
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Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 9:00am

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Two workers were rescued more than 550 feet above the streets of midtown Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon after their scaffolding buckled near the top of the Hearst Tower, the New York Fire Department said.

The agency's chief of special operations told CNN the workers, who spent 90 minutes dangling near the top of the building, suffered "no immediate medical incidents."

William Seelig said firefighters cut through a double-paned window on the 45th floor and brought the workers in through the newly created hole.

It took about 30 minutes for authorities to cut through the glass and send a firefighter onto the scaffolding to assist the workers.

Moses Neslon, a paramedic who attended to the men, said one was in his 20s and the other was in his 40s. They were smiling throughout the whole ordeal, he said.

"All this for us?" one of the men jokingly asked him.

The firefighter who helped guide them into the building, Tom Gayron, told reporters it wasn't especially windy, despite the height. He said the workers stayed calm as he helped them.

Seelig said the scaffolding, which bent sharply near the middle, was secured and passers-by on the street were in no danger.

The workers were doing building maintenance, another fire official said.

The Hearst Tower is 46 stories tall and is the global headquarters of the 126-year-old media company. It rises out of a six-story Depression-era, Art Deco facade with landmark status. The original design was for a skyscraper, but construction came to a halt when the Great Depression hit. In the latter half of the 20th century, a commission approved a plan to add on the modern skyscraper while preserving the original facade.

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