The newly opened glass-bottomed walkway suspended over a canyon in central China cracked today after someone dropped what is believed to be a stainless steel mug.
Stop the thrill-seeking?
It’s difficult to write this piece without thinking, it’s glass. While I’ve jumped out of perfectly good airplanes in the past my thrill-seeking days are over. Something about being 40 something or perhaps a fear of heights that would make Jimmy Stewart proud nearly guarantees that you won’t catch me standing high above the ground on a building material that is ultimately made out of sand. But it could be even simpler, this is not the first time that one of these has broken. Both London’s Tower Bridge and Chicago’s Willis Tower have also cracked in recent years.
However, glass-bottom structures are big in China right now with the Shiniuzhai National Geological Park’s own glass-bottomed bridge opening just last week.The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon area will see another opening soon according to CNN.
According to a statement from the Yuntai Mountain Tourism Administration, only the top pane of glass was broken. The newly opened u-shaped walkway is comprised of three layers of tempered glass and measures 1,300 feet long and the fractured glass according to the statement “does not affect safety.” You can say that all you want but a potential panic surely DOES AFFECT SAFETY.
While there was no reported panic, I struggle to believe this with just a cursory read of translated Chinese Twitter (Weibo) accounts of the incident.
Lee Dong Hai, a tourist who was on the walkway wrote, “I was almost at the end and suddenly I heard a sound. My foot shook a little. I looked down and I saw that there was a crack in the floor.”
“A lot of people started to scream,” the hero continued. “I screamed out, ‘It cracked! It really cracked!’ and then I pushed the people in front of me so that we could run out of the way.”
Glass walkway closed for repairs
Suffice is to say, the walkway is closed to affect repairs. This will surely anger a number of visitors to the area who used the national holiday to travel to the newly opened attraction.