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Workers rescued after scaffolding collapse downtown

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Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 17:21:53-04

CINCINNATI — A scaffolding collapse on Thursday morning left three window-washers dangling from their safety equipment eight stories above the pavement of West Fourth Street.

It was a “catastrophic collapse” with a happy ending, said assistant Cincinnati fire chief Tom Lakamp.

His department got the call at 10:40 a.m. and arrived within minutes; by 11:20, firefighters pulled all three men inside the building without injury.

“Everyone is doing great,” Lakamp said. “I can’t be more proud of the way our guys worked today. The gentlemen that were hanging off the (building) are fine. They are currently refusing medical care, so it’s definitely a happy ending.”

The workers were saved by their harnesses, which kept them in the air even after the scaffolding supporting them gave out. The vertiginous image of the trio hanging off the side of the building was really a best-case scenario, Lakamp said.

“Their safety equipment, the fact that they used it, it performed like it should,” he said. “They’re alive because they used their safety equipment properly.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the mishap, Lakamp added.

SOUND FAMILIAR? THIS HAPPENED IN 2016: Scaffolding dangles sideways off U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Cincinnati