High Winds Break Glass Panels Of Chinese Bridge, Stranding Visitor

If you enjoy walking across glass-bottomed pedestrian bridges stretching high above rocky canyons, you may want to stop reading here.

Last week, a man was stranded on a glass-bottomed pedestrian bridge 330 feet above a canyon in the Piyan Mountain Cultural Tourism Scenic Area outside the city of Longjing, China, after sudden gale-force winds damaged the bridge. Fortunately, the man was rescued and taken to a hospital, China’s state-controlled news outlet Xinhua reports.

A Harrowing Experience

The incident began at 12:45 p.m. last Friday, when record-making high winds of up to 93 miles per hour blew out several glass panels, trapping the tourist high above the ravine, according to a statement posted on the Weibo account of local authorities.

Although it took more than 30 minutes, the man was eventually rescued by firefighters, police, and forestry and tourism personnel, Xinhua reports.

“The staff of the scenic area rushed to the scene as soon as possible, brought emergency equipment, and successfully transferred the trapped person to a safe area,” said the statement on Weibo. “There were no casualties. After being kept in the hospital for observation, the trapped person was in stable emotional and physical condition and has been discharged from the hospital.”

Not surprisingly, considering what happened, the man did receive mental health counseling, the Xinhua statement notes.

You can watch one tourist’s experience of walking across the bridge on a less windy day below.

Glass-bottom bridges are a popular attraction in China — with local areas competing heavily for tourists’ attention. For example, the most famous bridge may be in Zhangjiajie National Park, in Hunan Province. That bridge is suspended 984 feet above — and 1,410 feet across — the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. 

That’s not the longest glass-bottomed bridge in China, however. That title belongs to a bridge built in Lianzhou, Guangdong Province’s Huangchuan Three Gorges Scenic Area last year. Indeed, the 1,726-foot structure holds the Guinness World Record for longest glass-bottom bridge.

The safety of some of these bridges has been questioned before, and since the incident, many Chinese have expressed growing alarm about the safety of the bridges. 

State media posts in which you can see the man clinging to the side of the bridge, surrounded by holes where glass panels had been destroyed, have been seen more than 5.8 million times on Weibo. In the comments section, people are voicing their concerns.

“This is exactly why I dare not step on a bridge like that,” a commenter named Wadetian wrote on Weibo.

“So many glass deck bridges have been built in recent years and are very popular with tourists,” Li, a doctor in China’s Sichuan Province, wrote on Weibo. “But how can we ensure their safety?”

Know Before You Go

The Piyan Mountain resort has now been closed, according to Xinhua. Additionally, the Longjing city government will “carry out a comprehensive safety inspection of all tourist attractions, and an investigation into the case is underway.”

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