Two workers were pulled to safety during a daring rescue 44 stories above ground outside a midtown skyscraper Wednesday after their scaffolding collapsed, officials said.
Stephen Schmidt, 49, and Victor Carballo, 26, were doing routine maintenance near the top of the Hearst Building on W. 57th St. near Eighth Ave. when the scaffolding suddenly buckled about 2:45 p.m., sources said.
The two men dangled about 450 feet above ground as a team of firefighters secured the twisted metal and cut through a window to pull them free, officials said.
Firefighter Tom Gayron, of Rescue Co. 1, said the workers remained calm during the 90-minute job.
"Firefighters on the roof talked to them," Gayron said. "They knew they were on the safety line. They had their harnesses on."
Schmidt and Carballo made it back into the building without any injuries.
The city's Department of Buildings and the state's Department of Labor are investigating what caused the scaffold, which is owned by Tractel, to malfunction.