MIAMI (CBSmiami) — Rescue crews worked for nearly an hour to rescue a man left dangling on the side of a building in Key Biscayne after a scaffold collapsed.
Chopper4 was over the Grand Bay Resort at 430 Grand Bay Drive around 3 p.m. where the worker could seen hanging by a rope. The motor on the scaffolding failed and it tilted, leaving the painter hanging by his personal safety gear that was hooked to a safety rope that was anchored to the top of the building.
Nearly an hour later, with two rescue workers attached, the man was lowered to safety – nine floors down.
“We went ahead and established communication with him, saw how he was, saw where he was and the harness that he permanently has was secure enough til the City of Miami TRT specialty team arrived to assist us,” said Key Biscayne Deputy Chief Marcos Osorio.
Earlier, the situation looked tricky for those trying to help him.
“We have an adult male that, somehow, the scaffold failed and luckily his safety equipment that he had on was able to keep him falling 12 stories to the ground,” said Capt. Ignatius Carroll with Miami Fire Rescue.
Fire rescue crews were seen speaking to the man from a nearby balcony. He seemed to be calm.
During the rescue process, the man was able to put a bit of his foot on a ledge.
“The fact that he’s able to keep at least one leg on that ledge which is helping to take some of the stress off of the rope definitely is working in his favor and it helps us out as we assess the situation because we’re not sure from the incident whether or not the safety equipment could compromise a little,” said Carroll during the rescue operation.
About 30 minutes later, two rescue members had made their way down to the dangling worker in an effort to lower him down as opposed to going through the window next to him.
“He was pretty heavily entangled in his equipment and his harness was, as you said he’s a big guy, his harness was not made to fit, so to speak,” Miami firefighter Timothy Gleason said.
Once they detangled him from his harness, the rescue crew and worker were lowered down to the ground.
When they finally reached the ground, the worker was put onto a gurney and rolled to a nearby ambulance and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment.
It remains unclear what caused the scaffold to collapse. OSHA is investigating the incident.
The whole rescue was caught on video which can be seen below.