A thrill-seeking tourist got a little more than he bargained for at a glass bridge in China, where high winds shattered the expanse and left him clinging to safety on the verge of a deadly drop last week.
The incident happened Friday at Piyan Mountain near Longjing in northern China, according to state media and the local tourism department. The tourist was the only person on the glass-bottomed suspension bridge, which was designed to give people the illusion of floating over a 100-metre fall.
That illusion became reality when gale-force winds knocked several panels out of the bottom of the suspension bridge, leaving the man with no way to get back to solid land. Authorities say gale-force winds suddenly gusted up to 150 km/h.
Photos posted on Chinese social media show the tourist clinging to the railing of the bridge after the bottom was destroyed.
The man held on for about 30 minutes before rescue crews managed to reach him and bring him back to safety.
It was a nightmare scenario for many in China, where glass bridges have become extremely popular tourist destinations over the last decade.
The most famous one is the Zhangjiajie glass bridge, a six-metre-wide, 430-metre-long bridge over China’s Grand Canyon. The suspension bridge reaches over a 300-metre drop and can hold up to 800 people.
Several injuries and a handful of deaths have been linked to these glass bridges to date.
Authorities say the man involved in the latest incident was not injured, but he was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Local authorities have closed the Piyan Mountain bridge while they conduct an extensive safety investigation.