World

San Francisco window washer survives 11-story fall after landing on car roof

AP

A worker who fell 11 stories from a San Francisco building onto a moving car — crushing its roof and sending shattered glass flying into the street — has survived but is in critical condition.

The man fell screaming from the roof of a downtown building Friday, but was conscious when paramedics reached the area, police said.

He was in critical condition at a San Francisco Hospital, officials said.

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

The car’s driver, Mohammad Alcozai, was not injured. He told KGO-TV that he is happy to be alive, especially after his car’s roof almost completely collapsed in the accident. He is praying that the worker survives. He said he saw something hit his car shortly after making a left turn.

Witnesses described seeing a blue streak and the man’s shadow as he fell and then hearing shattering glass as he hit the car and rolled onto the ground. The roof of the car, a green Toyota Camry, was smashed in, and the rear windshield was shattered.

Bianca Bahman, who was on the corner 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,” said Bahman, 31, a pre-medical student at San Francisco State University.

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

On Nov. 12, the collapse of a World Trade Center scaffold left two window washers dangling from America’s tallest skyscraper. The workers held on to the teetering platform 68 stories above the street for two hours. One called his wife, fearful that it might be his last opportunity to speak to her. Firefighters cut through a window and pulled the men to safety. They were not injured.

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