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November 4, 2011

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Window cleaners die in 22-story fall

TWO window cleaners working 22 floors up a high-rise plunged to their deaths yesterday, after a safety rope appeared to snap.

The accident happened in heavy rain around 1:40pm at the Pacific Center at the crossing of Yan'an and Jiangsu roads in downtown Changing District.

Afterward, a rope that had secured the window cleaners could be seen, apparently snapped, hanging from the exterior of the building.

Witnesses say they heard loud crashes and when they looked round they saw the two men lying on the ground.

"I heard a bang as I was preparing to go out," said a resident living next to the office complex.

The workers fell from the 22nd floor while cleaning the exterior glass, police said.

A car parked beneath the office building was damaged in the fall.

The men were pronounced dead at the scene, their safety helmets, gloves and buckets scattered around their bodies.

The bodies were not removed until around 4pm, as the police took photographs of the scene.

Four workers had been cleaning the exterior glass on the 26-story building at the time of the incident, said witnesses.
every four months.
The building's property management department said the team was hired to clean the exterior

According to witnesses, one worker began to fall after his support rope snapped, taking with him a colleague he was linked to by a safety rope.

"If it's true, then it was against all the rules, as workers should not be linked together," said a former window cleaner, surnamed Zhao, who worked in the business for six years.

Zhao said each two-man team should be equipped with three ropes, with both workers hooking onto the middle one by a device called a latching lock, in addition to having their own safety ropes.

"The lock will hold the workers even if one rope breaks," said Zhao.

"They would just hang in the air instead of crashing to the ground."

City work safety authorities said late yesterday that they were still investigating.


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