A trip to the top of the tallest building in Chicago turned into an even more harrowing experience in the sky for some visitors when a protective coating on the glass-floored balcony began to crack beneath their feet.
The incident happened on Monday on the Willis Tower’s 103rd floor, the location of the tourist attraction Skydeck Chicago where visitors can get a panoramic view of the city, Lake Michigan, and even parts of neighbouring Indiana, Fox News reports.
The glass appeared to shatter in thousands of tiny pieces. Picture: WTHRSource:Supplied
It was a shock for visitors. Picture: Jesus Pintado/TwitterSource:Twitter
The attraction also features four glass enclosures collectively called The Ledge, which opened in 2009 and give tourists the feeling of standing suspended in mid-air 412m above the ground and a metre away from the building.
Visitors at The Ledge are treated to unobstructed views of Chicago from the building’s west side and a heart-stopping vista of the street and Chicago River below — for those brave enough to look straight down.
Visitors were quick to get back inside the building. Picture: Jesus Pintado/TwitterSource:Twitter
It’s the second time cracks have appeared on the glass since The Ledge opened in 2009. Picture: Jesus Pintado/TwitterSource:Twitter
But Jesus Pintado told CBS Chicago the experience went to a new level of fear after there was a noise and the floor appeared to crack.
“There was a woman with two kids and they looked really pale and scared because the floor just cracked,” he told the television station.
Each Ledge box is comprised of three layers of half-inch thick glass laminated into one seamless piece.
The view from The Ledge is arguably the best in Chicago.Source:AFP
One of the first visitors to the skydeck takes in the view when it opened in 2009. Picture: EPA/Kamil KrzaczynskiSource:AAP
Mr Pintado’s wife, who already is nervous about heights, said witnessing the moment was enough for her.
“I’m scared of heights in general, so when I saw that happen I was like nope, not going on,” Karly Pintado told CBS Chicago.
The observation decks were closed once before back in 2014 after cracks appeared in a scratch-prevention coating as a family from California was taking in views of the city.
While scary, the protective layer is what covers the actual glass bottom, according to FOX32.
At 110 storeys and 442m tall, the Willis Tower skyscraper in downtown Chicago is the city’s tallest building.Source:istock
A tourist takes in the incredible view.Source:istock
A building spokesperson told Indiana’s WTHR no one was ever in danger on Monday, and The Ledge was immediately closed after the incident.
“The protective coating, which acts like a screen protector for The Ledge, experienced some minor cracking,” a spokesperson told WTHR. “We replaced the coating last night, and The Ledge is open for business as usual.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission
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