Frank Heinz

Austin EMS Rescues Window Washer Stuck on Tallest High-Rise

First responders helped rescue a maintenance worker stuck hanging off an Austin high rise Thursday.

Palmer Buck, Division Chief with the Austin Fire Department, said a power cord on the man's harness was severed, sending his harness into a locked-down safety mode as he dangled near the 41st floor of The Austonian.

The man was able to lower himself down to within about five feet of a balcony, where first responders were able to use safety ropes to pull him toward the building and onto the balcony.

Juan Ruiz, works in the city washing windows on high-rise buildings, told KXAN-TV in Austin the man was washing the windows when his harness failed.

Buck said he wasn't sure how long the man was dangling 500 feet over Congress Avenue before he was able to call for help, but that once the 911 call was received the man was safely on the balcony about 20 minutes later.

The man was evaluated by medical personnel, suffered no injuries and was released.

The 56-floor Austonian, a luxury residential high-rise, is the tallest building in the capital city.

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