Glass bridges can be one of the coolest ways to gain a unique perspective of a scenic landscape, but in this Chinese province, they’re posing a pretty serious safety hazard. In the mountainous Hebei province, a series of accidents have resulted in the closure of all 32 of the region’s glass bridges, walkways, and mountain viewing platforms this year. This includes the Hongyagu glass bridge, which is one of the longest glass bridges in the world at 1,600 feet. The East Taihang Glasswalk mountain walkway, famous for its illusion of shattering underneath you, has also been closed.
The closures came after several accidents and at least two deaths spotlighted safety concerns. In the Guangxi province, for example, rainfall on a glass slide caused a man to crash into the railing during his descent, and tumble over the side. He died from head injuries.
The highest and longest glass walkway opened in 2016 in the Hunan province, spanning 1,400 feet between two Zhangjiajie mountains, but the bridge closed after just 13 days due to concerns that it couldn’t handle the weight of its visitors.
In the wake of these incidents, the Chinese government has asked authorities to conduct extensive safety checks on all glass structures throughout the country. But with 2,300 glass bridges in China, in addition to glass walkways and slides, this task is fairly time-consuming and likely won’t be completed anytime soon.
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