Chicago's Willis Tower Glass 'Ledge' Cracked As Tourists Sat On It, Terrifying Them And Us And Everybody
If you're scared of heights, then you may want to stop reading. Every acrophobe's worst nightmare came true on Wednesday when a few tourists were enjoying views of Chicago from The Ledge on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower and the glass coating started to crack. This is why you should never try to overcome your irrational fears.
Alejandro Garibay, his brother, and two cousins were visiting the Windy City from California and decided to partake in one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. But since they're human and have common sense, the thought of plunging to their death crossed their minds even before the terrifying incident occurred. Garibay said he even joked with the staff about the strength of the glass boxes, but they were reassured.
"They jokingly and confidently responded, 'It's unbreakable,' so we just went on," Garibay told NBC Chicago. But minutes later, they heard the glass crack beneath their feet. Gah!
"I walked them over so they could see and they were totally shocked and asked us to step away and then proceeded to start calling staff and techs and I don't know who else," Garibay told NBC. "When we pulled our phones to start recording and take pictures they asked us to leave right away."
The Ledge, which is a series of glass boxes that jut out 4.3 feet from the Skydeck on the Willis Tower's 103rd floor, literally stands over nothing. Well, except maybe a horrible death. Tourists who are brave, or insane, enough to step inside these boxes can take in stunning views of Chicago at 1,353 feet above the hard cement and busy traffic. According to its website, the Skydeck is the highest observation deck in the country and The Ledge was built to withstand four tons of pressure and can hold 10,000 lbs. So what happened?
During an interview, Garibay and his brother each gave short, hashtag-like descriptions of their brush with death: #HeartAttack and #LifeFlashedInASecond. In other words, "Let's never go to the damn Skydeck ever again."
That's the last thing the building officials want you to think, however, because money and because duh.
Brian Rehme, a spokesperson for public relations firm FleishmanHillard, who represents the Willis Tower, issued a statement addressing the security of the glass boxes: "This 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." Sure!
The Ledge remained open on Thursday, with a piece of carpet reportedly covering where the glass cracked. A piece of carpet. That kind of ingenuity should inspire some confidence in the tourists. That's like throwing on a bath mat when the Trevi Fountain springs a leak.
Images: Alejando Garibay