Chinese Glass Bridge Breaks Leaving Tourist Clinging on 330ft Above the Ground

A man at a tourist resort in northeast China was trapped on a glass-bottomed foot bridge standing nearly 330 feet (100 meters) high after the structure was partially shattered by strong winds, according to the city government.

Several glass panes of the Piyanshan Glass Footbridge in the city of Longjing were damaged by extreme weather in the Piyan Mountain tourist area, according to a statement posted on the city's official Weibo social media account.

Glass panels beneath the tourist's feet were reported to have cracked and crashed toward the cliffs below the bridge. The man reportedly clung onto the bridge's guardrails, with several gaps seen in front of him between beams that span around 8.2 feet horizontally across the bridge, according to Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper.

The man was stranded on the bridge, which is around 1,310 feet (400 meters) long, after several pieces of the glass deck were blown off following wind gusts of up to around 93 miles (150 kilometers) per hour in the area at around 12:45 p.m. local time on Friday, the city government said.

The tourist was eventually able to crawl back to safety at around 1:20 p.m. local time following the joint rescue efforts of firefighters and police as well as forestry and tourism staff.

The statement shared on Weibo said: "Our staff rushed to the scene with emergency equipment and successfully transferred the trapped person to safety. The incident caused no casualties.

"The trapped person was taken to hospital for observation. He was discharged as his mental and physical condition were stable," the statement added.

The bridge has been closed until further notice. The city government was reported to be carrying out a safety inspection of all tourist attractions in the area, with the latest incident to also be investigated.

The latest incident has raised concerns over the safety of glass-bottomed bridges in China, where at least 60 such bridges have been or are being built since 2016, according to the Earth magazine published by the Geological Museum of China.

Glass bridges are commonly found in China's mountainous provinces such as Jiangxi, Yunnan as well as Hunan, which is home one of the country's most famous glass bridge, at around 1,410 feet long and about 20 feet wide, in Zhangjiajie. It is suspended between two steep cliffs over 980 feet above ground.

According to guidelines, glass bridges must be closed during bad weather and natural disasters and the number of pedestrians on glass bridges and walkways should be capped to no more than three people per square meter, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Newsweek has contacted the China National Tourist Office and the Ministry of Transport for comment.

Glass bridge Zhangjiajie 2016
Visitors cross a glass-bottomed bridge in Zhangjiajie in China's Hunan Province on August 21, 2016. A man at a tourist resort in northeast China was trapped on a glass bridge standing 328 feet high after it was partially shattered by strong winds. Fred Dufour/AFP via Getty Images

Correction - 5/11/2021: This article originally stated that wind gusts of between 12 and 13 on the Beaufort wind scale were recorded. The Beaufort wind scale only goes up to 12. Newsweek regrets the error.