How to survive a 500-foot fall

Lessons learned from a window washer who survived a terrifying fall from a New York City skyscraper.

Here's what to do if you find yourself plummeting through the air 500 feet above the ground. Window washer Alcides Moreno thought he was a goner after his scaffolding broke near the top of a New York City skyscraper and he wasn't wearing a safety belt. He survived the plunge by grabbing the 16-foot scaffolding platform. Gravity's downward pull gets counteracted by an upward push against an object, so the large surface of the scaffolding increased the wind resistance and air drag--somewhat negating the effects of gravity. Plus, the scaffolding hit a wall, slowing it down, and landed on cables, much softer than concrete.

Moreno's brother wasn't so lucky. He fell too--but was impaled on a fence.

Read the full story on Newsweek: "Falling man".


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