British Columbia

Firefighters rescue workers stranded on a downtown Vancouver tower

The wind, rain and lack of light made the rescue challenging for firefighters, but the team was able to bring three stranded workers to safety.

Vancouver Fire's technical rescue team safely rescued the 3 maintenance workers overnight

Stranded scaffold workers rescued

5 years ago
Duration 0:20
Vancouver firefighters safely rescued a group of workers stranded near the top of the Toronto Dominion tower. 0:20

Vancouver firefighters safely rescued a group of workers stranded on a scaffolding near the top of the Toronto Dominion tower early Wednesday morning.

The workers were performing maintenance on the outside of the building near the 28th and 29th floors of the tower on Georgia Street , when the machinery malfunctioned around 2:00 a.m. PT.

They ended up stranded on the scaffolding in the rain, over 100 metres above the ground.

Firefighters, along with Vancouver's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team, responded to the call and sent a crew up to the roof to get the workers to safety.

Members of Vancouver's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue team pull one of the workers over the edge of the TD Tower. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Challenging rescue

"It was quite blustery up there with some rain, some darkness as well … we had to take some extra lighting up to the roof," said Battalion Chief Ken Abel, with Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.

Abel added that the darkness and wind made the rescue more challenging for his crews.

CAN-TF1 is one of four heavy urban search and rescue teams able to deploy anywhere in Canada. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

A lone firefighter was lowered over the edge of the building to get to the workers. The three were lifted back over onto the roof safely just before 4 a.m. PT.

It's not clear what caused the machinery to malfunction, but the three workers and the rescue team all made it back to ground safely.

A firefighter is lowered onto the scaffolding to rescue the stranded workers near the 29th floor of the tower. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)