China closes glass canyon walkway after cracks appear

A newly-opened glass walkway in a central China beauty spot has been shut down after cracks appeared in the structure, which was supporting dozens of tourists.

The cracks appeared, accompanied by a loud bang, on the walkway in Henan province’s Yuntaishan area at the height of the week-long National Day holiday on Monday.

A single pane of the 68m-long section shattered into coin-sized segments, according to footage on state broadcaster CCTV.

China closes glass canyon walkway after cracks appear

The area’s management bureau said on its microblog that there was no threat to safety because only one of the three layers of glass that make up the walkway was damaged.

It said investigators were looking into the cause of the fissures and added that the walkway was able to support weights of more than 800kgs per square meter.

Postings to China’s Twitter-like Weibo messaging service described the fears of tourists who heard the panel crack, but there were no indications of mass panic or injuries.

The structure hugs a cliff side about 120 metres above a canyon in the remote mountain areas renowned for its scenery. It opened on September 20, just in time for the National Day holiday.

A glass walkway above London’s Tower Bridge suffered a similar accident in November after a falling bottle shattered the topmost layer of one of its panes that was designed to be easily replaceable if damaged.

Such walkways have grown popular in China as scenic areas compete to attract increasingly affluent Chinese tourists.

Among them is the world’s highest and longest glass skywalk located in Hunan province’s Zhangjiajie, known as the model for the planet Pandora in the film Avatar.

The structure stretches 430 metres at a height of 300 metres above the canyon floor.

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