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How Tough is the Toughened Glass?

24 November 2014 | Updated 01 January 1970

Just weeks after its opening, the glass walkway on Tower Bridge has been damaged by a night time reveller.

The damage to one of the six glass panels occurred on Friday night when a reveller dropped a glass bottle on to the surface. This was not noticed at the time and was made worse when someone with a stiletto heel stood on the affected part.

The stairway manager told the media that at no time was there any risk of anyone falling through the glass to the surface 42m below. Damage was said to be only to the ‘sacrificial’ surface layer and that the four layers underneath would have provided more than enough protection.

The head of Tower Bridge was contrite in an interview he gave to ITV. “We are gutted it's happened in the first couple of weeks when it's been open to the public but it's completely safe,” said Chris Earlie. “We should have said no glass on the glass section of the floor. It was a bit shortsighted of us.”

Toughened glass is being increasingly used in many locations now without any problems to visitors. Most recently, Paris’s Eiffel Tower’s first floor opened after renovation, using glass to allow people to walk and photograph the ground below.

In the case of Tower Bridge, the two glass walkways were supplied and installed by Glassolutions, part of the Saint-Gobain Group. There is no reason why the other Eastern Walkway, due to open to the public in early December, should be delayed, despite this accident.

TWIFM was waiting for a spokesperson from Glassolutions to comment on the incident at the time of going to press.


Pictured: Damage and embarrassment to the glass walkway on Tower Bridge occurred last Friday
The Willis Tower, Chicago

In late May, visitors to The Willis Tower in Chicago got the shock of their lives yesterday when the Skydeck they were standing on apparently started to collapse below their feet. - See more Here

Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 24 November 2014


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