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Broken Glass Walkway Shatters Nerves in China


How safe are glass walkways, skywalks and bridges? New glass suspension bridge in China is 980 feet long, 600 feet high, and absolutely terrifying. (FILE PHOTO)

How safe are glass walkways, skywalks and bridges? New glass suspension bridge in China is 980 feet long, 600 feet high, and absolutely terrifying. (FILE PHOTO)


Imagine this. You are visiting a beautiful mountain somewhere in the countryside. Part of the trip takes you up a steep mountain cliff. At the top, visitors can step out on to a see-through walkway. The reinforced glass flooring hangs about 1,000 meters above sea level.

Sounds exciting, right?

But then, part of the flooring cracks. There is a loud noise, and some of the glass appears to break up.

Chinese glass walkway 3,000 feet up in the air cracks as tourists walk across it. (WEB Screenshot)

Chinese glass walkway 3,000 feet up in the air cracks as tourists walk across it. (WEB Screenshot)

That is what tourists experienced recently during a visit to Yuntai Mountain in China’s Henan province.

The glass skywalk had only been open for a few weeks. The Yuntai Mountain Geological Park said there was no reason for worry and that the cracks had "no impact on safety.”

But online discussions about this incident show some people were of a different opinion.

Glass skywalks have become popular in many of China’s tourist areas. But critics say China has an issue with poor workmanship and poor crowd control.

People joked online that the setting up of these glass walkways and skyways are not transparent. Others are saying that this is nothing to laugh about. One comment on the social media site Weibo said, “This is no joke. Tourism is taking your life in your own hands. No more of these glass walkways. Just too scary.”

The New York Times reported that a story about the glass cracking appeared on the social media site Weibo. A tourist claimed that a piece of glass broke and people began shouting “it’s really broken, really broken.” This person then said people began running and pushing people in front of them.

The Yuntai Mountain officials said the cracks were not serious.

The officials said that to make sure people feel 100 percent safe, they have decided to close the walkway temporarily until repairs are made.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Have you been on vacation and worried about the safety of tourist attractions? Tell us about it in the Comments section or on our Facebook page.

Anna Matteo wrote this piece for VOA Learning English. Her report was based on information from the New York Times, the South China Morning Post, the Associated Press, USA Today, CNN, TIME and the Washington Post. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

cliff – n. a very high, sharply rising area of rock or earth

crack v. to break (something) so that there are lines in its surface but it is usually not separated into pieces : n. a thin line in the surface of something that is broken but not separated into pieces

tourist – n. a traveler; someone who travels somewhere for pleasure

transparent adj. able to be seen through; honest and open; not secretive

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