China tourist left clinging to 100m-high bridge after glass panels smash

By Helen Davidson

A man was left stranded on a glass-bottomed suspension bridge in north-eastern China after sudden gale-force winds shattered the transparent panels around him.

The man was on the 100-metre-high bridge at Piyan Mountain in Longjing city, when it was hit by sudden strong weather, the local tourism department said.

Gusts of up to 150km per hour blew out several glass panels, trapping the tourist until he could be rescued by firefighters, police, and forestry and tourism personnel more than half an hour later.

Photos shared on social media showed the man clinging to the side of the bridge, surrounded by gaping holes where the glass panels used to be. State media reports were viewed more than 5.8 million times on China’s microblogging social media platform, Weibo.

The man was reportedly unharmed but was sent to hospital for assessment and counselling, state media reported.

Tourists walk on the glass bridge in Longjing in 2019.
Tourists walking on the bridge in 2019. Photograph: GZMKS/Getty Images

Commenters described the scenario as a “nightmare”. One said: “So many glass-deck bridges have been built in recent years and are very popular with tourists. But how can we ensure their safety?”

Glass bridges are a popular tourist attraction in China, with the most famous in Zhangjiajie national park, Hunan province, which stretches 430 metres across a canyon, 300 metres in the air.

State media reported local governments were preparing guidelines to limit their construction, including technical standards and recommendations against building in earthquake zones.

Wild weather has rocked parts of China in recent days, impacting holiday travel. Videos shared online showed other bridges twisting and flipping in high winds, and on Monday afternoon authorities warned of hail, wind and lightning in Hubei.

The Piyan Mountain resort has been closed pending investigation.