Cracks on Vietnam's highest glass bridge chalked up to 'effects'

By Lan Huong   February 12, 2022 | 06:00 am PT
Cracks on Vietnam's highest glass bridge chalked up to 'effects'
Tourists on the Rong May Glass Bridge in Lai Chau in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Trung Hieu
A tourist captured a video of a glass bridge in the northern Lai Chau Province with cracks along one panel, while the site said the cracks were only "effects."

The glass structure belongs to the Rong Mau Glass Bridge tourism site on O Quy Ho Pass of northern Lai Chau Province. A male tourist captured a video while he and his wife visited the bridge on Thursday.

On the bridge, the couple discovered a glass panel that seemed to be cracking. At first, they chalked it up to "visual effects" to enhance the experience, but a closer inspection revealed the panel was indeed cracked and shards of glass had fallen off at the corner. Terrified, they got off the bridge.

The tourist said he informed an employee of the incident but was told the cracks were only "effects" and the bridge had already been tested for safety. He then uploaded the video on TikTok, which went viral and received over 2.2 million views.

A video footage of a glass panel on the Rong may glass bridges showing cracks. Footage obtained by VnExpress

Nguyen Van Huan, general director of the Rong May Glass Bridge tourism site, said the cracks on the glass panel were only "effects" used to enhance the experience.

He said the panels used for the bridge were imported from Japan and were composed of both glass layers and bulletproof film. The cracked glass panel was unique: it had received intentional force so cracks would appear and there would be shards at the corner, Huan said.

He added since the glass is resistant to force, it would be safe even when someone was standing on it.

"This unfortunate misunderstanding was the fault of the tourism site for not having informed tourists about it," he added.

Tran Quang Khanh, deputy director of the Lai Chau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said an inspection team with tourism and construction officials have visited the site and found that the glass panel's cracks were real but only to create "effects."

The cracks were on an extra panel that has been there since the bridge was opened, and the province's Construction Department deemed it safe at the time, Khanh said.

Yet he said the inspection team has required the tourism site to replace the panel as soon as possible, and not to let tourists jump or stand at the spot.

Rong May Glass Bridge, opened to the public in 2019, spans over 500 meters with a 60 meter section extruding over a cliff. It also includes a glass elevator that is 300 meters high. The bridge is the highest such glass structure in Vietnam, located at around 2,200 meters above sea level.

The latest quality inspection of the site by the Lai Chau Department of Construction occurred in February 2021.

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