These terrifying images show the moments after a window-cleaning cradle on Austria's tallest building suddenly slipped, leaving two workers clinging on for their lives.

Their precarious position could be seen from several kilometres away, as one side of the platform fell to leave it at a near-45-degree angle.

The two men had been cleaning windows on the 48th floor of the Donau City Tower in Vienna, and ended up dangling at more than 144m.

The incident was witnessed by a number of people down below, and according to local news reports around 30 firefighters responded on the scene.


Though their work was hampered by strong winds, fire crews were able to lower extra cables to ensure the cradle did not drop any further, and the men were eventually let in through a ventilation shaft.

Precisely how long the men were left trapped in the cradle remains unclear, and though they escaped unharmed one was treated for shock.

The 60-floor, 250m building they were working on was completed last year overlooking the Danube in one of the city's main urban business hubs. It is officially called DC Tower 1. Construction is under way on DC Tower 2 on a site nearby.

- Independent