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Window cleaner survives 11-story fall onto moving car

The man suffered critical injuries, but he was conscious, police said.

Window Washer Fall Source: AP Photo/Michael Liedtke

A WORKER FELL screaming 11 stories from the roof of a San Francisco bank building on Friday morning onto a moving car, crushing its roof and sending shattered glass flying into the street, police and witnesses said.

The man suffered critical injuries, but he was conscious, police said.

The car’s driver, Mohammad Alcozai, was not injured.

“I’m very happy that I wasn’t hurt,” Alcozai told told KGO_TV shortly after the accident. “Hopefully he can make it. I pray for him that he can make it.”

Alcozai said he saw something hit his car shortly after making a left turn.

Bianca Bahman, who was nearby where the man fell, said she looked up to see his shadow and ran for cover.

“As he was coming down, he was definitely screaming,” Bahman, 31, a pre-medical student at San Francisco State University who was on her way to the gym, said. “It all happened so quickly. It was so instantaneous.”

Window Washer Fall Source: AP Photo/Lisa Leff

The man, identified by police only as window washer, was moving equipment on the roof of a bank building in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district and not on a window-washing platform when he fell, San Francisco police Sgt. Danielle Newman said.

The platform was on the ground at the side of the building, and cables were hanging from its sides. It was not clear whether the man was setting the platform up, but he was working with a partner, police said.

He and about 20 other people ran to the man, who was on his back. The man was lucid, though he was bleeding.

The man worked for Concord, California-based Century Window Cleaning, said Peter Melton, a spokesman for the California state division of occupational safety and health.

The company was cited for one serious violation and three other violations in 2008, one of them related to instructing window-cleaning employees in the proper use of all equipment provided to them, and supervising the use of the equipment and safety devices to insure that safe working practices are observed, according to federal records.

The company was fined more than $6,500, though the fine was eventually reduced to a little more than $2,700.

A call to the company was not immediately returned.

Recent incidents involving window washers show the dangers of the job.

Last week, the collapse of a World Trade Center scaffold left two window washers dangling from the nation’s tallest skyscraper. The workers were trapped 68 stories above the street when a cable suddenly developed slack on Nov. 12.

Read: Two window cleaners rescued from outside the 69th floor of the new World Trade Center >

More: Charlie Flanagan says students who destroyed San Francisco apartment ‘let Ireland down’ >

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Associated Press

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