Skydeck's Ledge Shows Cracks During Tourists' Visit
The boxes of the Ledge opened in 2009 and were said to be able to hold five tons
By BJ Lutz | Thursday, May 29, 2014 | Updated 9:12 AM CDT
A family visiting from California got the scare of their life on Wednesday during a visit to Chicago's Willis Tower Skydeck, the 103rd floor tourist attraction atop the city’s tallest building.
One of the four glass enclosures jutting out from the side of the building, collectively called The Ledge, appeared to show cracks, said Alejandro Garibay, his brother and two cousins were on it.
"Crazy feeling and experience," Garibay wrote in an email to NBC Chicago. Watch the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON to hear Garibay’s experience first-hand.
When the tourist experience opened in 2009, engineers said that boxes were composed of three layers of glass each about one half-inch thick. They were built to hold five tons, officials said.
But Garibay said that even before his group walked out into one of the boxes at about 9:50 p.m., they and other people were joking with staff about the strength of the boxes.
"They jokingly and confidently responded, 'It's unbreakable,' so we just went on," said Garibay.
While he and his family members were on the Ledge, Garibay said he heard cracking. They stepped off and alerted staffers.
"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. When we pulled our phones to start recording and take pictures they asked us to leave right away," he said.
Willis Tower officials did not respond to a request for comment as of 8:30 a.m.
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