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Emergency crews respond to window cleaning platform stuck on Vancouver building

Pair plucked to safety after being stuck 10 storeys up outside highrise tower
A glazier is lowered to safety as a colleague and a rescuer look on after the workers’ suspended platform became stuck on a downtown Vancouver highrise on Thursday, March 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ian Young

A double malfunction on a window-cleaning platform meant a pair of glaziers working on an office building in downtown Vancouver spent hours suspended 10 storeys above the busy city sidewalk.

Several fire trucks snarled Georgia Street’s eastbound lanes near the main library as firefighters worked to free the pair, who had been replacing glass on the Deloitte Summit tower when the platform refused to move Thursday morning.

Deanna Raven, a safety representative with Alternate Glazing Systems, said the basket that held the workers malfunctioned, and then the equipment’s emergency descent feature also malfunctioned.

Raven said such events are rare and the workers were safe as they awaited rescue from firefighters who lowered them by rope to a balcony below the platform.

She said the company had originally planned to get them down with a boom lift, but the City of Vancouver told them to call the fire department.

Raven said that the company and its workers use the platforms on highrise buildings all the time and they have replaced several windows on the tower in the past without incident.

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