Window Washer Clings To Life After Plummeting Off Skyscraper

Saturday, December 8th 2007, 2:43 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) A window washer clung to life on Saturday after plummeting from a skyscraper in a fall that killed his brother.

A scaffold broke free from the top of an Upper East Side apartment tower on Friday morning, sending Alcides Moreno, 37, and his brother Edgar Moreno, 30, on a horrifying plunge of more than 40 stories to a plaza below.

Edgar was killed; Alcides remained hospitalized at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center. A spokeswoman on Saturday declined to release details on his condition at the family's request.

The brothers from Linden, New Jersey, were not wearing their safety harnesses when they fell from the swing scaffold, which was a permanent fixture on the 47-story building's roof.

The city Department of Buildings was investigating several issues in the accident, including whether the men were on the scaffold when it fell or trying to fasten cables to it when the hoist fell off the building.

The Buildings Department had issued no violations in the accident. It did fine the apartment building's owner $800 in February after part of an exterior building wall near the eastern roof parapet fell to the street, according to city records.

The state Department of Labor, which is in charge of inspecting the swing scaffolds, last looked at in June and it passed, said spokesman Leo Rosales. The safety harnesses, cables and controls would have all been tested, he said.

A call to the City Wide Window Cleaning in Queens, which employed the brothers, was not returned on Saturday.