Canadian Contractor

Alec Caldwell   

Remembering the two brothers who fell off a 47-storey skyscraper in NYC, one surviving

Canadian Contractor

Alcides Moreno survived a plunge of 472 feet, reaching a top speed of 125 miles per hour

Alcides Moreno

I happened upon a report from the BBC this week about an event that occurred a decade ago in New York City. It is a constant reminder to me of the dangers of working at heights.

This particular story is part miracle and part tragedy.

On Dec. 7, 2007, two window washers, Alcides Moreno and his younger brother Edgar, fell 47 floors from a New York skyscraper after their suspended platform collapsed.

The brothers plunged 475 feet, Alcides clinging to the falling window washing platform. He survived, found by rescuers at the foot of the building in a tangle of twisted metal. He was struggling to get to his feet. He clung to life through surgery whose success was almost a big a miracle as survival of the plunge itself. Edgar, who had been thrown off the platform when it tilted and collapsed, had not survived his solo fall.


The brothers’ safety harnesses, lifelines and a bucket of hot water were found on the roof of the building. Steam was still rising from the bucket when it was located by emergency crews.

Here is the full article from Harry Low of the BBC (read full article)

Why did they not tie off?

Lives change in fractions of a second and wrong decisions can last a lifetime.

Get training and become compliant. Not only does everyone in residential construction need Working at Heights training in Ontario, if you use equipment like swing stages or boatswains chairs, additional training is needed. Working at Heights training is just the basics.

Always use approved MOL providers for Working at Heights training. You can find them on the Ontario Ministry of Labour web site here.

This includes CARAHS. Time is closing fast for the April 1st deadline for all workers to become compliant. Read what some have said about our approved course.

Toll free 1 866 366 2930

Passion – Commitment – Integrity



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