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Window washers stranded for hours outside Las Vegas hotel's 35th floor

Four window washers were rescued by firefighters Wednesday after they were stranded for several hours in searing heat outside the 35th floor of a Las Vegas Strip high-rise hotel.

Clark County and Las Vegas firefighters spent three hours rigging ropes and descending from the roof of the 46-story Vdara Hotel to harness and lower the workers one at a time to a landing area below.

Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said firefighters were summoned about noon after the men reported that their work platform appeared to be slipping.

No injuries were reported. Three of the men rescued were in their 40s and one was in his 20s, NBC's Las Vegas affiliate KSNV reported.

Mechanical malfunction
The Vdara is one of several glassy CityCenter complex hotels built by MGM Resorts International and Dubai World. The surrounding 67-acre development opened in December 2009, with the Aria, Veer and Mandarin Oriental hotels, a casino and the upscale Crystals shopping and restaurant complex. The flawed Harmon hotel and condominium tower never opened.

Hotel spokeswoman Yvette Monet said the workers' platform apparently stalled due to a mechanical malfunction.

Battalion Chief Eric Poleski of the Clark County Fire Department told NBC's Las Vegas affiliate KSNV that this kind of rescue was not as common as it once was but that firefighters still train regularly for similar situations.

More coverage of this story on NBC's Las Vegas affiliate KSNV

"Las Vegas hasn't been building things quite as much as they used to. When CityCenter was being built we were doing this (type of rescue) at a fairly regular basis. ... But it's been quite a while since we've done something like this on a side of a building," he told KSNV.


The rescue of the four window washers in Las Vegas on Wednesday played out on live television.

Soaring temperatures
The first firefighter to reach the men brought bottled water, officials said. The National Weather Service reported temperatures at 104 degrees and winds a moderate 10 mph at nearby McCarran International Airport at the time.

Television viewers watched the rescue live on local television.

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In March 2009, firefighters rescued two window washers who suffered minor injuries when a cable holding their platform snapped during gusty winds outside the Wynn Resorts-owned Encore Las Vegas.

Both men were wearing safety harnesses, and were pulled to safety through a 15th-floor window, while the platform slammed against windows facing the Vegas Strip and rained broken glass onto a swimming pool area below.

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