Chicago's Willis Tower's Skydeck glass ledge on 103rd floor cracks under tourists' feet leaving them terrified
The protruding glass ledge in the Chicago skyscraper is a big tourist attraction and draws close to a million visitors annually
Tourists visiting the Willis Tower in Chicago were left terrified after the glass coating cracked beneath their feet on the building's Skydeck on the 103rd floor on Monday evening. According to an eyewitness account, people heard a "boom" before noticing the glass had "splintered into thousands of pieces".
CBS 2 reported that a mother and her two children were standing on the deck at the time. The trio was taking in the view from the famed Willis Tower, which, at 1,451 feet, is the tallest building in the Chicago and the second-tallest in the United States. The Skydeck boasts of protruding glass ledges that allow tourists to look directly down at the streets below.
According to reports, fortunately enough, no one was injured in the incident, and a spokesperson for the tower said in a statement that no visitors were in danger as the glass is part of a protective layer of coating over the top of the Skydeck. However, an eyewitness said that the incident was enough to keep them indoors.
Visitor Karly Pintado, who spoke to the media outlet, said: "I’m scared of heights in general so when I saw that happen, I was like 'Nope, not going on.'" Her husband Jesus filmed the commotion following the event, with many tourists seen looking on in shock at the shattered glass.
However, this is not the first time that the protective glass on the Skydeck has cracked while the attraction was open for business. Back in May 2014, a protective layer of glass reportedly shattered on the same ledge window. But following Monday's incident, the glass panel was quickly replaced, and the Skydeck at Willis Tower remains open.
During the previous glass shattering, one public relations expert reportedly explained, "The [glass] coating does not affect the structural integrity of The Ledge in any way. Occasionally, the coating will crack, as it is designed to in order to protect the surface of the glass."
The skyscraper, which was formerly known as the Sears Tower, was completed in 1973 when it surpassed the World Trade Center as the tallest building in the world, a title it held for almost 25 years. The Skydeck first opened in 1974 and quickly became a tourist attraction. More than one million people visit it each year.