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Willis Tower Skydeck ledge cracks: Family sees cracks in glass, site still safe

The Willis Tower Skydeck ledge had cracks running through the glass this week, scaring one family standing atop the structure, but authorities on site say that the popular tourist attraction is still very safe. Local officials released a statement this week announcing that no visitors were in danger while traversing the lofty glass ledge of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago, Illinois. MSN News reports this Thursday, May 29, that the formation of many small, spindly cracks beneath the feet of one family gave them quite an understandable scare, however.

Willis Tower has cracks in Skydeck glass, but family safe
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When the Willis Tower Skydeck ledge cracks — and you’re a visiting tourist standing over the thick glass — it’s a definite cause for concern. However, Willis Tower officials in Chicago are reminding everyone that the attraction to the 103rd floor remains fully safe, and that the sudden cracks that appeared this week beneath the feet of a family and some other visitors is, in fact, perfectly normal. Ever since its grand opening back in 2009, both brave and less hardy souls have ventured up to the heights of the tall Chicago building, and falling from (or through) the glass ledge is a rational fear.

However, experts note that these fears are actually all but unfounded. The small glass areas, which are compact and see-through for visitors to get an incredible view of the Chicago city skyline, are often nicknamed sections of The Ledge and reach out roughly four feet from the building’s main structure.

It was ABC News that shared this evening how officials in the Tower confirmed that even though the cracks suddenly appeared late on Wednesday in the small glass enclosure, neither the family nor any other tourists were in any real danger, no matter how the situation actually appeared. In reality, it wasn’t actually the glass itself that cracked, but rather the protective covering, or shield coating, that was studded with fissures. Both the Ledge and the main Skydeck remain very safe for all people, and that the “structural integrity of the site … is still secure.” This protective coating is known to crack on occasion. So while it certainly looked scary, there is nothing to worry about for future tourists of the popular location.

For local Chicagoans, have you been atop the Willis Tower Skydeck yet? How was the impressive, if oftentimes intimidating, experience up in the air for you? How might you have felt if you saw that there were some cracks in the glass ledge beneath your feet being hundreds of feet up in the air, as the family in question did this week?