China Tourist Left Hanging 100M Above Ground After Glass-Bottomed Bridge Shatters
A tourist was left hanging 100m above ground for 35 minutes after a glass-bottomed bridge in Longjing, China shattered due to strong winds last Friday, 7 May
According to Chinese news portal Xinhuanet, the man was walking on the bridge — located at a resort in China's northeast province of Jilin — when it was damaged by a gale.
Winds as strong as 150km per hour caused several pieces of deck glass to be blown away from the 100m high bridge.
The incident was reported to have occurred at around 12.45pm and lasted until about 1.20pm.
The tourist is said to have crawled to safety with the help of firefighters, police, and forestry and tourism personnel.
After being rescued, he was rushed to a hospital to receive psychological counselling.
The resort near the bridge has since been closed down and investigations into the incident are ongoing.
State officials said that photos showing the man gripping the metal sides of the bridge, surrounded by holes where the glass used to be, has been viewed more than 5.8 million times on Weibo
"This is exactly why I dare not step on a bridge like that," Xihuanet quoted a netizen as saying.
Meanwhile, another netizen questioned, "How often did the bridge undergo maintenance?"
"So many glass deck bridges have been built in recent years and are very popular with tourists. But how can we ensure their safety?" added one person.
China has at least 60 glass-bottomed bridges built across the country as of 2016, noted the Geological Museum of China's publication, Earth Magazine
The bridges are commonly found in mountainous provinces like Jiangxi, Hunan, and Yunnan.
Additionally, China is known for its record-breaking glass bridges, including a new 526m long structure in Qingyuan, Guandong that holds the Guinness World Record for longest glass-bottomed bridge, reported CNN.
According to The Guardian, the most popular bridge in China is in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province. The bridge is 430m long and is suspended 300m high across a canyon.
However, local governments are preparing guidelines to limit construction of such bridges.
They are also reviewing technical standards and recommendations on building such structures in earthquake zones.
Parts of China have been affected by erratic weather recently. Other bridges have been seen twisting and flipping due to strong winds in videos shared on social media as of late.
Last month, visitors at a China zoo were shocked to find a puzzled golden retriever instead of lions in the zoo's enclosure