Two workers trapped on scaffolding dangling from 1 World Trade rescued by firefighters

New York Fire Department released a photo showing their attempt to rescue the window washers from the building's 68th floor

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Two window washers who were trapped on a scaffold hanging 68 storeys above street level outside New York’s One World Trade building have been rescued, according to officials.

The open-topped platform dangling from the south side of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere swayed slightly as the rescue operation involving around 100 firefighters got underway.

Firefighters from the New York Fire Department (NYFD) cut panes of glass from the newly-opened tower to pull the pair to safety, around an hour after a technical fault caused them to become stranded.

An NYFD official added that the men were tethered and had been speaking to with rescuers during their ordeal.

Images from the scene show one side of the scaffolding dropping at a sharp angle from the towering skyscaper. An New York Police Department official, John Miller, said the workers were suspended at "a 75-degree angle."

Earlier, NYFD tweeted a photo of its staff looking out the window of the 68th floor as they decided how to save the workers.

Rescue teams lowered down what appeared to be some sort of communications device down into the scaffolding, according to a Reuters witness, while workers in nearby offices clustered around their windows to watch the rescue.

About 20 minutes later, rescuers lowered a second scaffolding platform down the tower's facade, while people on the ground were moved back in case glass began flying glass, WABC-TV reported.

Tenants began moving in to the 1,776 foott-high 104 storey building last week. It opened on 3 November, more than 13 years after the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Additional reporting by Reuters and AP