One of China’s terrifying glass suspension bridges cracked under tourists’ feet

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Cracks began to show this week in a newly-opened glass-bottomed walkway that snakes around the edges of 3,500-feet-high cliffs in a scenic park on China’s Yuntai Mountain. The U-shaped attraction is now closed for repairs, though officials say there’s no danger.

Just to be clear: This is not the same glass bridge that Quartz wrote about on Sept. 30: the Hanhao Qiao (“Brave Men’s Bridge”), which is nearly a thousand feet (300 meters) in length and 600 feet above a gorge in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park. Officials say its walkway is 25 times stronger than normal glass and  “will stand firm even if tourists are jumping on it.

Witness accounts from Yuntai published on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, described terror and a frenzied rush off the bridge after cracks were heard and visible fissures appeared underfoot on a section close to the bridge’s entry point.

“It’s shattered! It’s really shattered!” people cried, before pushing each other to get off the walkway and onto solid ground.

From Weibo user -LiuJie
From Weibo user -LiuJie

Yuntai administrators had a more mild description of the incident, according to the New York Times: they said safety inspectors noticed some small cracks during a routine patrol, and: “to ensure that tourists can have 100 percent confidence in their safety, we have decided to temporarily halt receiving visitors on the glass walkway.”

Whether or not a panel of the walkway shattered, as some witnesses insist, officials insisted there was no real danger. The triple-paned glass is supposed to be able to support 800 kilograms (1,763 pounds) per square meter.

Reportedly, all it took to break the glass was a stainless steel cup that someone accidentally dropped.