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The Alabama Department of Transportation will conduct its annual rehearsal of the plan that helped safely evacuate the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis in 2005. On Wednesday,More >>
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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Clark County firefighters rushed to the Vdara hotel on the Strip Wednesday after four window washers became trapped outside the building's 35th floor.
Just before noon, the metal basket used to support and guide the workers along the facade malfunctioned and began to slip, according to Clark County Battalion Chief Eric Poleski. An emergency brake was the only thing that kept the group from plunging to the ground.
"From that point (the basket) was inoperable, but not in any danger of falling over the edge," said Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Capt. John Hurley.
Rescue workers said the men called 911 from a cell phone while trapped and that they were in communication with the men during the entire operation.
Heavy Rescue 44 in Las Vegas teamed up with Clark County firefighters to lower the washers one by one. The first washer was rescued at about 1:30 p.m.; the last at about 3 p.m. Workers said it took about 25 minutes to rescue each washer.
The washers were lowered to safety with firefighter equipment as witnesses watched from hotel rooms and the ground.
"I wish we could open a window so we could give them some water or something, you know?" said Angenee Persaud.
Firefighters said the workers were a little dehydrated, but not injured.
"We train almost every day for stuff like this, so there's no worries," said Las Vegas Firefighter Ray Spigner. "You have to trust your equipment, your people and your training."
MGM Resorts International Wednesday afternoon released the following statement:
Clark County rescue teams completed a successful rescue of four workers who were in a crane lift basket at Vdara's 35th floor. No one was injured. We appreciate the excellent efforts of the fire department personnel. The matter will be reviewed by hotel safety officials as part of the company's standard policy.
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