Workers stranded atop floodlight facility at cricket stadium

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Chennai, Nov 21 (UNI) Two contract workers, who went atop the 170 foot high flood lights, installed at the M A Chidambaram stadium, to replace faulty bulbs, had a harrowing time, as they were stranded for nearly six hours last night without water and food when the cable operated makeshift lift got stuck.

The fire service personnel, after a strenuous battle, rescued the duo, Natarajan and Rajamohan, with the help of Bronto skylift ladder machines and additional ladders at around 2030 hrs last night.

The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) decided to replace the faulty lights and undertake maintenance work in one of the four flood light facilities to keep them ready for the Champions League T-20 matches to be held here from December five to 10.

The two workers were employed by Baron Enterprises, which was in charge of the maintenance of flood lights. The duo went atop the flood lights, but got stranded after the lift got stuck.

The normal procedure for the maintenance personnel was to use the cable-operated lift with the help of a motor. The two cables. that run parallel below the lift, support the platform where the men are stationed.

As they went up the mast around 1400 hrs, one of the supporting cables snapped and jammed the motor, making them stranded on the mast.

The Fire and Rescue Services rushed to the spot with one of its Bronto skylift ladder machine. But it was of no avail, as the ladder could reach only up to 140 ft, whereas the men were stranded around 160 ft.

Another fire tender and two ladders were called for and attached to the hydraulic skylift. The strong sea breeze made it difficult to manoeuvre the unwieldy machine, delaying the rescue effort.

It took the firemen three attempts before they could position the skylift and secure the additional ladders to the makeshift platform on which the men were stranded and brought them down around 2030 hrs.

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