From the PIX11 archives: The hazards of washing windows in New York City

Posted at 6:48 PM, Jun 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-12 23:04:40-04

NEW YORK (PIX11) –  Back in December 2007, when two “window washing” brothers—immigrants from Ecuador—plunged 47 stories from a luxury apartment building on the East Side, we marveled that one of them survived the fall that killed his brother instantly.  37-year-old Alcides Moreno was considered the “miracle  man” who was able to walk again, after grieving the death of his brother, Edgar.

At the time, PIX 11 did a special report on the sometimes-fatal dangers of window washing, especially when the scaffold is faulty.  It turns out the high-tech scaffold being  used at the Hearst Tower on 57th Street, where two window washers were rescued Wednesday, was operated by the same, Long Island City company that was fined thousands of dollars in the fatal 2007 accident involving the Moreno brothers.  When contacted by PIX 11 Wednesday, a Tractel Company representative who answered the phone said, “In regards to the Hearst Building, we have no comment.  Please direct your questions to the Fire Department of New York.”