Over­whelmed, China shut­ters glass bridge

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

THE world’s long­est glass bridge, over a scenic canyon in China, has been closed less than two weeks af­ter it opened af­ter be­ing over­whelmed by a swarm of vis­i­tors.

More than 10,000 vis­i­tors a day flooded over the Guin­ness record­set­ting at­trac­tion, over­whelm­ing man­agers who had planned to limit vis­i­tors to no more than 8000, lo­cal media re­ported.

The bridge is un­der­go­ing “an in­ter­nal sys­tem up­grade”, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News ser­vice quoted of­fi­cials as say­ing, but did not spec­ify when it would re­open.

The group in charge of the at­trac­tion said that it would use the clo­sure to up­date “soft­ware and hard­ware” re­lated to man­ag­ing vis­i­tors, Xin­hua said last week.

In an an­nounce­ment on one of its so­cial media ac­counts, the com­pany apol­o­gised for in­con­ve­nienc­ing the many trav­ellers who had made reser­va­tions to visit.

“You ... have cheated con­sumers,” one an­gry com­menter replied.

“I’m on the train right now. I can’t change my travel plans or get a re­fund. You have made the world lose hope. I see you are the world’s num­ber one cheat.”

Some 430 me­tres (1400 feet) long and sus­pended 300 me­tres above the earth, the bridge spans the canyon be­tween two moun­tain cliffs in Zhangji­a­jie park in China’s central Hu­nan prov­ince.

The na­ture re­serve is known for its oth­er­worldly nat­u­ral beauty. Fa­mous for its pre­cip­i­tous cloud-wreathed moun­tains, it is a UNESCO world her­itage site that re­port­edly in­spired the land­scapes of James Cameron’s sci-fi block­buster Avatar.

Fol­low­ing an alarm­ing glass bridge crack­ing in­ci­dent at the Yun­tai moun­tain in north­ern He­nan in 2015, au­thor­i­ties in Zhangji­a­jie were ea­ger to demon­strate the safety of the struc­ture.

They or­gan­ised a string of media events, in­clud­ing one where peo­ple were en­cour­aged to try and smash the bridge’s glass pan­els with a sledge ham­mer and another where they drove a car across it.

Nonethe­less, vis­i­tors were banned from wear­ing high heels as they ven­tured out onto the deck. –

Photo: AFP

Thou­sands of peo­ple – too many, ap­par­ently – stand on top of the glass bridge China built in its central Hu­nan prov­ince.

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