Rescuers working to remove window washers from scaffolding dangling from One WTC in NYC: http://t.co/L0QfxQZIHs pic.twitter.com/HyQU8nGDSG
— ABC News (@ABC) November 12, 2014
The window washers that were rescued Wednesday in New York City, after dangling from a scaffold next to the World Trade Center 70 floors up for an hour, scheduled a press conference to comment on the incident.
Juan Lizama and Juan Lopez, the two window cleaners that were stranded, first made general comments on the incident before taking questions.
Lopez stated that he was “happy to have made it and got to go home to see my family for another day. The most important thing is that I’m alive.”
“God bless America” stated Lizama when asked for his initial comments on the rescue.
“In the beginning, it was panic and survival instinct for the first few minutes. After that you clear your mind and try to get ahold of the situation,” said Lopez when asked what it felt like to be in that situation.
Now: #FDNY rescuing workers trapped on scaffolding outside 1 World Trade Center. View from the 68th floor. pic.twitter.com/3c7Oi8EZPD — FDNY (@FDNY) November 12, 2014
Training kicks in at times like that, according to Lopez.
“We’ve been prepared before for incidents like that so it was a calmness,” Lopez said. “I knew it was just a matter of time once I saw the fire department and the police department inside.”
Lopez also said it was helpful to have a partner up there during an incident such as this, stating “having a partner calms you down.”
The two cleaners walked the press through how the day began, up through when the scaffold began to tip.
“We started our day, first things first, by checking all the equipment.” Lizama said. “Our priority is safety, both our own and anyone beneath us.”
The workers told press that they had started cleaning on the 33 floor of One World Trade Center and worked their way up.
“When the scaffold tipped, we panicked but quickly got it under control,” said Lizama.
“It’s hard honestly to give detail… We realized that one side was tilting and our first instinct was the emergency stop,” Lopez stated. “When that didn’t work, we tried to hold on and hope that we didn’t fall over the side.”
When asked if they called anyone on the scaffold, Lizama said that “when the scaffold stopped, I grabbed my phone and called my wife and I told her something has happened, it’s out of my hands.”
Questions on technical details of the event remain unanswered as they refused to comment on them at this time.