Authorities of Lai Chau Province, located in northern Vietnam, have asked the investor of the Rong May Glass Bridge to replace a glass panel purportedly cracked to enhance thrills for visitors with a standard alternative for safety purposes.
Despite recognizing that the cracked glass panel was created as an effect to thrill visitors, a local inspection team has requested the bridge investor, Lai Chau-based Hoang Lien Son Group Joint Stock Company, to install it as soon as possible.
The inspection was conducted by local tourism and construction authorities on Saturday afternoon after a traveler posted a video on social media showing a cracked glass panel on the bridge floor.
The video immediately attracted special attention from numerous viewers who expressed their concerns about the safety of the glass bridge.
Inspectors confirmed that the panel was not actually broken but said such an effect-creating panel could affect the loading capacity of the bridge and does not comply with safety rules, Tran Quang Khang, deputy director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Saturday evening.
A replacement is therefore necessary and the site management should arrange staff to remind visitors not to jump or stand on the spot for the time being, Khang said.
Nguyen Xuan Binh, director of Rong May Glass Bridge Tourist Area, affirmed that the cracks are made-made as an ‘effect’ to enhance the adventure experience among visitors.
|The image shows a sheet of paper affixed on a glass structure that reads ‘Site For Cracked Glass Panel Effect Experience’ on the Rong May Glass Bridge in Lai Chau Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Rong May Glass Bridge Tourist Area|
As a routine, an employee is on daily duty at the site to explain this effect to visitors, but on the day when the video was spread on social media, that employee took sick leave, Binh claimed.
Some travelers have misunderstood them as natural fractures, the director explained.
Every panel of the bridge consists of three layers of tempered glass, connected with each other by special transparent films to make it very strong and safe, he added.
“The crevices seen by visitors are only on the top tempered glass layer,” Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper cited Binh as saying.
The bridge, approved by the Department of Construction of Lai Chau after meeting all safety criteria, has welcomed several hundred visitors every day since early this year, Binh added.
Opened to the public in 2019, Rong May Glass Bridge is located at Rong May Tourist Area on O Quy Ho Pass in Tam Duong District, bordering Lao Cai Province's Sa Pa Town.
The bridge spans over 500 meters including a 60-meter-long and five-meter-wide section that extrudes from a cliff of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range.
As the highest such glass structure in Vietnam, the bridge is situated at around 2,200 meters above sea level and has a glass elevator that is 300 meters high.
The bridge underwent the latest quality inspection by the provincial Department of Construction in February last year, according to VnExpress.