Two window cleaners were rescued by a cherry picker after they were left dangling off a high-rise building in the Sydney CBD when a cable broke.
The cleaners were stranded on their small platform off the fifth floor of the building in Pitt Street, about 15 metres off the ground, a Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman said.
Window washers' rescue in CBD drama
Ben Hawes and his colleagues watched nervously as firefighters rescued two window washers stuck 15 floors up in Sydney's CBD.
Emergency services were called to the tower, on 130 Pitt Street and close to the Pitt Street Mall, about 10.20am on Friday.
A NSW Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said the operation took about 40 minutes.
The platform has now been secured and WorkCover will investigate the incident.
The two male cleaners were not injured.
A spokeswoman for Investa Office, which manages the building, said a section of the non-load bearing cable, that is usually fixed under the cleaner's platform, unspooled and fell to the ground.
"As a precautionary measure, Investa's standard safety procedures were activated. Window cleaning works were stopped and emergency services called to assist with bringing cleaning staff to the ground," the spokeswoman said.
Sydney high-rise window cleaner Lincoln Wilson said it was "unheard of" for cables to break while working on the side of a building and, during his 10 years, he had never experienced any problems.
"Cables should be maintained very regularly and checked over every six or 12 months by a qualified assessor. I know the cables are always out in the weather but they are made of high-tensile steel," Mr Wilson, who is the director of Mr Window Clean, said.
He said his staff always carried walkie-talkies and worked in teams while cleaning tall buildings, so they could help each other if there were any emergencies.
One of four east-bound lanes on King Street at Pitt Street was closed while emergency services were on the scene and buses were diverted from area, a spokeswoman for the Transport Management Centre said.
These guys Appear to need a bit of help pic.twitter.com/lj2pkid4JT— Louise Hall (@LouiseCHall) May 30, 2014