Window-washing rig secured to San Francisco high-rise


The dangling window washing rig's dangerous dilemma developed right in the middle of the morning rush hour in downtown San Francisco, shutting down a major street. The rig was reported hanging unsafely at 7:02 a.m. from the 41st floor of a building at 301 Clay Street.

Getting things straightened out had a whole new meaning Friday morning in the Financial District.

The window washing platform was finally pulled over onto the top of the building at about 10 a.m., ending a strange morning on Friday the 13th.

It just didn't look right, whether you were down below on Clay and Battery streets or 41 stories up at One Embarcadero Center. A 2,000 pound window washing platform was dangling dangerously from above.

"I talked to the guy, actually the engineer who was in charge of it and asked him, 'is this thing in danger of falling?'" Battalion Chief Marty Ross said. "And the look on his face, I could just tell, hey we better get up there."

Firefighters believe a latch was not engaged when workers put it over the side of the building.

No one was inside the rig.

Below, Battery Street between Clay and Sacramento was blocked off to traffic. Muni officials say buses on the 1-California and 41-Union routes are being rerouted around the scene.

Floors 28, 29, and 30 were in the landing zone if this thing dropped. So those workers were kept out of the building.

"Just wait, and hopefully it comes to a good end," 29th floor worker Rita Whitten said.

Eventually a window washer rappelled down and secured the platform, while firefighters helped pull it up.

No one hurt. But there were a lot of frazzled nerves on Friday the 13th.

"That is a little creepy, a little scary," San Francisco resident Marcus Collazo said. "You've got to think about it, you know, let your mind run wild."

The roads and One Embarcadero Center have reopened.

Firefighters say they're just happy nothing bad happened.

(Bay City News contributed to this report)

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