The Willis Tower’s Sky Deck Glass Floor CRACKED!
It’s what everyone who stands out on The Willis Tower’s Skydeck Ledge fears the most and now its happened.
The ledges extend four feet out from the Windy City’s most iconic structure and with transparent walls, floors and ceilings, they provide tourists with the feeling of being suspended on air.
What they said would never happen actually did on Wednesday night 28th May at 1,353ft: It was supposed to be unbreakable, but this was the awful moment when the Chicago tower block’s 103rd glass floor viewing platform CRACKED under tourists’ feet.
The Garibay family visiting from California were the unfortunate ones to experience the glass floor shattering beneath them! As the family sat down in the glass ledge for a photo the sound of shattering glass could be heard. This is something that no one wants to experience in a glass box at 1,353ft above the streets of Chicago.
The three layers of glass one half inches thick is meant to withstand 5 tons appeared to shatter beneath them. However it wasn’t the glass floor that shattered it was actually the protective coating. A spokesperson from Willis Towers confirmed this is exactly what should happen. The protective coating is used for this very reason and it was doing its job.
‘Occasionally this happens, but that’s because we designed it this way,’ said Bill Utter. ‘Whatever happened last night is a result of the protective coating doing what it’s designed to.’
Utter added that this is not the first time the protective coating has cracked. Usually it is caused by a visitor having something sharp in their pocket that scratches or cracks the coating.
Rehme a spokesman for public relations firm FleishmanHillard stated that the visitors were never in any danger.
‘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,’ Rehme said in a statement.
Workers with MPH peeled the cracked layer of coating on Thursday and replaced it with new glass and caulk.
‘I had my palms on the floor and I could feel it cracking,’ said Alejandro Garibay, who was posing for pictures at the time with his brother and two cousins. ‘Honestly, I was in shock, in disbelief. I was scared.’
‘We were watching the fireworks at Navy Pier,’ Garibay said to The Chicago Tribune. ‘It was an awesome view. We were getting up and walking away and for some reason I thought it would be cool to get a picture of my cousins and brother. . .Then we started getting off and, as we push ourselves off, I could feel it cracking. It was completely shattering. I thought there was only cracked glass between us and 103 floors down,’ he said.
‘One of the craziest feelings I had in my life,’ added his cousin, Antonio Saldana. ‘I thought I was going to fall through.’
‘I was like, wow, I literally can’t believe I could have fallen just through it,’ said Alejandro to NBC Chicago, who was visiting the 1,451-foot skyscraper – the world’s eighth tallest – with family from California. ‘At first I see the glass from the ledge to the building crack and at that point I just hopped off.’
‘I can’ remember if I crawled off or I jumped off. Just a million things, I couldn’t believe what was happening,’ said Ernesto Garibay about his family’s terrifying experience on Wednesday night. ‘Even now I can’t believe it, it’s hard to believe.’ ‘Especially when they said it’s unbreakable.’
The Garibay family were among the last customers on Wednesday night – paying $19 for dizzying views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan which can stretch for 50 miles on a clear day.
‘All of us collectively start getting up, and it’s at that point that we hear and feel the glass start shattering. Mind you, this is happening in an instant. Incredibly fast,’ said Alejandro’s cousin, Tony Saldano. ‘We see it completely just shatter all the way through, and at that point, all four of us just completely rushed right out of it.’
Instinctively jumping off the platform, the Garibay’s quickly alerted the staff.