Falling Man

Posted on January 14, 2008 

Falling Man

It’s a modern-day miracle. An Ecuadoran native who fell 500 feet from the upper reaches of a New York City skyscraper–and survived. By the time Alcides Moreno hit the alley behind the black-glass luxury apartment building, he was traveling upward of 124mph. Only about half of the people who fall off a four-story building make it. So how is it possible that Moreno is alive?

The answer has a lot to do with physics, luck and a 16-foot plank.

Moreno and his brother Edgar, 30, both worked for City Wide Cleaners. They were getting ready to wash windows on Dec. 7, 2007, when the cables for the scaffolding snapped. Neither wore a safety harness. Edgar died instantly when he fell off the platform and a fence severed his body. But Moreno managed to grab ahold of the 16-foot scaffolding platform–which proved crucial to his fate.

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