Terror at 412 metres as Willis Tower Ledge cracks

Last updated 08:00 30/05/2014
Cracks in Willis Tower ledge
NBC Chicago/Twitter

CRACKS UNDERFOOT: The floor of the Willis Tower after the incident.

Willis Tower
MIKE GONZALEZ/Wikimedia Commons
VIEWING BOX: Tourists enjoy the view from The Ledge on the Willis Tower. File photo.
Willis Tower
Reuters
IT'S TALL: The Willis Tower.

Relevant offers

Travel Troubles

New Zealand passport robot tells applicant of Asian descent to open eyes Navy sent for as 800 tourists stranded on Havelock Island Stewardess who was eight times over alcohol limit removed from flight Outbreak of tyre-slashing in parking feud around Wellington Airport Qatar-bound flight makes emergency landing off Portuguese coast Toilet chained shut to force freedom campers from Taranaki surf spot Qantas flight from Christchurch to Sydney rerouted due to 'minor fault' Maine ports 'shocked and disappointed' by Princess Cruises' pollution Drunk passenger attacks flight attendant on Turkish Airlines flight Spain: Travellers disgusted by airport mess after cleaners in El Prat airport go on strike

Family members inside a glass viewing enclosure at Chicago's tallest building, 412 metres above the city, had a moment of terror as the see-through floor appeared to crack beneath them.

Alejandro Garibay, his brother and two cousins heard cracking when they were on the tourist attraction known as The Ledge, which juts out 1.2m on the west side of the 103rd floor of Chicago's Willis Tower.

They stepped off and alerted staff members.

"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," Garibay told NBC Chicago.

"When we pulled our phones to start recording and take pictures they asked us to leave right away."

It was a "crazy feeling and experience," he said in an email.

A spokesman for Willis Tower said the only thing that cracked in the Wednesday night (local time) incident was a protective coating on the top of three layers of glass, each 1.3 centimetres thick. The coating had done exactly what it was supposed to.

The coating had cracked before, generally when a visitor had something sharp in his pocket or hand that shattered the coating.

Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis said the public was never at risk. "The integrity of the structure was never compromised."

All four boxes of The Ledge were closed for a routine inspection.

The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the eighth-tallest building in the world and the second-tallest in the United States.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content