Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Tourist Left Dangling after Glass Bridge Shatters

Friday, May 14, 2021

Comment | More

In a horrific incident at the Piyan Mountain resort in Longjing City, China, a tourist became temporarily stranded on the resort’s glass-bottomed suspension bridge after extreme winds shattered its decking.

Some Kind of Nightmare

According to reports, earlier this week an unlucky man walking on a glass-bottomed bridge at the Piyan Mountain resort was left temporarily stranded as high winds caused several glass panels to break and drop out from the structure around him.

Left to hang onto the 330-foot-high bridge’s frame amidst gale-force gusts over 90 miles per hour sounded like nothing short of a nightmare. A series of videos and photos of the incident were posted to Chinese social media platform, Sina Weibo.

After clinging to the structure for a half hour and some brave climbing, the man was successfully rescued by a combination of local firefighters, police and forestry and tourism personnel.

While the tourist was uninjured, he was sent to a hospital for observation and was later discharged after being declared to be in stable emotional and physical condition.

The Piyan Mountain resort has since been closed while authorities carry out a comprehensive safety inspection. An investigation into the failure of the glass deck is also underway.

Chinese state media has also reported that local governments were in the process of preparing guidelines to limit the boom in glass bridge construction and plans to implement more strict technical standards and recommendations imposed to stop building them in earthquake zones.

Glass-deck bridges have become increasingly popular in China in recent years, with at least 60 built in scenic areas across the country since 2016.

Glass Bridges in China

Likely the most famous glass bridge is a structure in the city of Zhangjiajie northwest of China’s Hunan Province. Opened in August 2016, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, spans 430 meters (1,410 feet) across a canyon that’s 300 meters deep, making it the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge.

Situated within a national forest, the bridge is a tourist attraction. According to reports from the time, officials would permit 8,000 people to cross per day. The structure is cleared to hold up to 800 people at a time, but only 600 would be permitted. Tickets must be purchased in advance, for a sum equivalent to about $20.

The deck has an hourglass taper, narrowing to six meters (about 20 feet) at the center of the bridge and features 99 panes of transparent safety glass. The deck rests on two 2-foot-wide steel beams, and suspension cables extend from towers on each side of the canyon.

For those who aren’t thrilled enough by the glass bridge itself, the structure also reportedly hosts the world’s largest bungee jump, at 250 meters.

The following year, a glass bridge was opened over the Yellow River in China. The Shapotou Suspension Bridge’s glass bottom renovation is the first of its kind on the Yellow River, and was put in place due to increased interest from tourists in such attractions.

Located in Zhongwei, Ningxia Province, the bridge sits at 1,076 feet long, featuring 61 panes of normal glass and 77 panes of glass with 3-D printed images. Each option creates a spectacular view for photography, with someone looking as if they are standing right above the river’s rushing waters, or standing right over a 3D-printed waterfall.

The Shapotou Suspension Bridge was originally built in 2014, and with the increase in tourist interest in glass-bottomed bridges, site management decided to repave the bridge with glass, noted Daily Mail Online. This resulted in two-thirds of the bridge walkway being replaced with glass, while the rest remained wood.

The bridge is 8.5 feet wide and is suspended 33 feet above the Yellow River.

In February 2018, a new “cracking” swaying span opened in Xuching City in the Henan Province city as part of its Spring Festival celebration. The 268-meter- (about 880-foot-) long pedestrian span, which is 158 meters high at its highest point above land, features an inch-thick glass floor that those brave enough to cross can see right through.

To add to the terror, a layer beneath the surface reportedly creates the illusion of cracking as visitors walk across it. While glass bridges have become relatively common in China in recent years, illusions of this sort are just beginning to take hold as a design choice.

The following year, the Hebei province shut down all of its glass bridges, mountain viewing platforms and walkways due to hazards and structural concerns. The structures were part of a nationwide building craze that picked up speed in the mid-2010s, during which a number of entities looked to cash out on the draw of tourists visiting the see-through structures.

In total, the providence closed 32 glass bridges, which included the Hongyagu glass bridge, previously known as the world’s longest glass bridge.


Tagged categories: Accidents; AS; Bridges; Bridges; China; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Infrastructure

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

Axxiom Manufacturing

Western Technology Inc.

Sauereisen, Inc.



Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us