Fire crews rescue building maintenance workers swinging in high winds downtown

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Fire crews rescue building maintenance workers swinging in high winds downtown

Two workers on a swing-stage platform on the east side of Stantec Tower were left dangling as high winds descended on downtown Edmonton Friday afternoon.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Service crews responded to the scene just before 1 p.m. to perform a high angle rescue. Fire rescue officials weren’t entirely sure why the two were up there but they believe it had something to do with maintenance work.

The area between the Stantec Tower and Edmonton Tower was closed off as emergency crews attended the scene.

A fire rescue spokesperson said one of the two was lowered to the ground and was looked after by EMS. The second worker was successfully rescued just before 2 p.m.

A video posted to social media Friday afternoon shows a platform swaying in the wind before crashing into the side of Stantec Tower, breaking a window and leaving one man dangling from the platform.

Scott Macdonald, deputy chief of operations with fire rescue, said one of the workers was able to bring the swing stage down. Macdonald said fire crews were on scene to help clean up the broken windows and to ensure no glass went flying in the wind.

“We’re trying to gauge the access to get up there and trying to help (construction crews) out and mitigate the safety hazard,” he said. “They don’t have the capacity to get some equipment out in a timely manner. The wind is going to keep getting picked up for the rest of the evening here.”

He said fire crews have the proper equipment to go up onto the ladder to take care of the glass. Macdonald believes the swing stage was about six to seven storeys above ground level.

Wind warning

Environment Canada issued a wind warning for Edmonton and much of central Alberta Friday morning.

“A low-pressure system moving through Alberta today will bring strong, gusty winds to central and eastern parts of the province,” the warning said. “Winds should strengthen early this afternoon, with gusts above 90 km/h likely and gusts above 100 km/h possible at times.”

Winds were expected to ease during the evening as the wild weather moved into Saskatchewan. Temperatures were also expected to drop sharply as a cold front moves through.


Edmonton Fire Rescue Service firefighters rescue one of two maintenance workers, (in white helmet) caught in a wind storm who were working on the Stantec tower in downtown Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. . Environment Canada has issued a wind warning in Edmonton. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia


Damaged windows are seen as Edmonton Fire Rescue Service firefighters rescued one of two maintenance workers caught in a wind storm who were working on the Stantec tower in downtown Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Environment Canada has issued a wind warning in Edmonton. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia


Edmonton Fire Rescue Service firefighters rescue one of two maintenance workers, (in white helmet) caught in a wind storm who were working on the Stantec tower in downtown Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Environment Canada has issued a wind warning in Edmonton. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia


Edmonton Fire Rescue Service firefighters rescue one of two maintenance workers, (in white helmet) caught in a wind storm who were working on the Stantec tower in downtown Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Environment Canada has issued a wind warning in Edmonton. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia


Edmonton Fire Rescue Service firefighters rescue one of two maintenance workers, (in white helmet) caught in a wind storm who were working on the Stantec tower in downtown Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. Environment Canada has issued a wind warning in Edmonton. Photo by Ian Kucerak/Postmedia

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