The glass deck, known as the Ledge, hangs off Chicago's tallest building and is a popular tourist attraction offering a thrilling experience and dizzying views of the city.
One California family got a lot more than they bargained for when the glass started to crack beneath them as they took in the city views.
There are four viewing boxes extending out more than four feet from the building's Skydeck. The three-inch thick glass is meant to withstand 5 tons.
Alejandro Garibay was in one of the four deck boxes with his brother and two cousins on Wednesday night when he heard cracking and saw what he thought was the glass splintering, reports theGuardian.
"A crazy feeling and experience," Garibay told NBC Chicago.
"We were watching the fireworks at Navy Pier," Garibay recalled to The Chicago Tribune. "It was an awesome view. We were getting up and walking away and for some reason I thought it would be cool to get a picture of my cousins and brother. . .Then we started getting off and, as we push ourselves off, I could feel it cracking. It was completely shattering."
According to the Daily Mail, staff told the Garibay family that the glass was unbreakable before they stepped on.
The family were quickly evacuated.
The glass viewing deck opened in 2009 on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower.
According to a Willis Tower spokesman, it was actually the protective coating on the glass that cracked, not the glass itself.
"The Ledge was designed with a protective coating that completely covers all glass surfaces to protect against scratches. This coating does not affect the structural integrity of The Ledge in any way. Occasionally, the coating will crack, as it is designed to, in order to protect the surface of the glass," Brian Rehme said in a statement.
Rehme added that the visitors were never in any danger.
Workers with MPH peeled the cracked layer of coating on Thursday and put in new glass and caulk, reports theDaily Mail.
The Tower's Skydeck remains open but The Ledge has been temporarily closed for a routine inspection. The attraction will reopen on Friday.
Are you brave enough to step on The Ledge now?
Restaurants with incredible views
Chicago tower glass viewing platform cracks under tourists' feet - 1353ft high
Check out the view! IceQ, located 3,048m above sea level in Sölden, in the longest valley in Tirol the Otztal, has jaw-dropping views of 250 peaks over Austria, Germany and across to the Italian Dolomites, while offering fine gourmet dining at altitude.
The aptly named Windows restaurant at Geneva's Hotel D’Angleterre has enchanting panoramic views of the city's famous lake and distant the mountains, including Mount Blanc, which you can enjoy while sampling some of magical cooking. This restaurant with views also boasts a fantastic private wing known as L’Observatoire which is available for exclusive use for private functions and enjoys truly stunning views over Lake Geneva.
Set right on the water’s edge of Mount’s Bay along a two-mile stretch of beach in West Cornwall, The Godolphin Arms overlooks iconic St Michael’s Mount and boasts one of the most magnificent beachside views in the country. The dining space at this inn serves freshly cooked food using local and seasonal Cornish produce. It opens out onto a balcony upstairs and a terrace downstairs, and diners can walk straight in off the beach or linger on the beachside terrace with friends enjoying a chilled glass of wine and fresh seafood.
Soneva Kiri's Treepod Dining really takes haute cuisine to new heights! The treetop restaurant at the Thai hotel on the island of Koh Kood offers a bird's eye view of the ancient rainforest and stunning coastline. Take a seat in the bamboo pod at ground level and be hoisted six metres up into the tropical rainforest before sampling jungle-themed offerings from the menu.
The restaurant at Grand Hotel Timeo in Taormina, Sicily features an outside terrace with breathtaking views over the Ionian Sea and Mount Etna. Whether you're there for the breakfast buffet or an elegant candlelit dinner, the views from this restaurant will provide an unforgettable meal.
For amazing views of ocean life as you dine, book a table at the world’s first and only all-glass undersea restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Restaurant Ithaa is set five metres below the surface with 180-degrees of panoramic underwater views, where you'll really dine surrounded by fish, reef sharks and coral reed.
Set on level 31 of Western Europe's tallest building The Shard, Aqua Shard is all about the stunning views of London and the River Thames. Take in the capital's skyline as you feast on breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at this top notch British restaurant located virtually among the clouds!
Chicago's 'number one Chinese restaurant' Shanghai Terrace has a rooftop setting at The Peninsula Chicago and offers Cantonese delicacies with incredible skyline views of the city's famous John Hancock building. The lively alfresco spot is a great place to enjoy freshly steamed dim sum, with favourites such as barbecue pork buns, Peking duck and shrimp and chive dumplings.
Suspended over the Gulf of Salerno, spectacular former 17th-century monastery Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa's restaurant terrace allows guests to dine alfresco while admiring one of the most exclusive views on the entire Amalfi Coast. The restaurant's menu concept features recipes from the nuns that lived on site during its 'monastery' days and locally-inspired dishes that use freshly picked produce from the original herb and vegetable garden.
If you're booking a table at Nanhai No.1 it's because the views are as world-class as the food. Nanhai No.1's famous city panoramas and contemporary Chinese cuisine make it one of the hottest destination restaurants in Hong Kong. Named after pioneering Chinese naval explorer Zheng He's 15th-century 'treasure fleet', the 200-seat restaurant was envisioned as a culinary voyage of exploration inspired by the sea.
It's not just the most famous places in the world that attract view-seeking diners. In England's second smallest city Wells, you can enjoy unparalleled views of its famous cathedral at the Best Western Plus Swan Hotel's Terrace at the Swan restaurant. It's located directly opposite the west front of the Wells Cathedral and ideal for al fresco dining in the summer, perfect for a morning coffee, light snacks and afternoon tea on a visit to the Somerset city.
Located right in front of the Colosseum, rooftop terrace and restaurant Aroma at Palazzo Manfredi is where you can enjoy the best views in Rome. Open for lunch or dinner at sunset, the stylish restaurant combines Mediterranean flavours and contemporary twists with traditional Roman cuisine, topped off with 360-degree views over the Eternal City.
Diners at El Burgado fish restaurant in the Buenavista del Norte district of Tenerife are treated to a memorable setting on the volcanic island. Seated under colourful draping fish nets and overlooking the foaming Atlantic ocean and cliffs, which form part of the Teno Rural Park, one of the most naturally beautiful places on the Canary Islands, you'll be able to take in the amazing views of the tall palms, whitewashed houses and beautiful ocean below.
This romantic spot at Kempinski's Emirates Palace is perfect for enjoying a beautiful view of the iconic hotel and Abu Dhabi's skycrapers on one side, and the ocean on the other. Couples dining at beach-side, alfresco restaurant BBQ Al Qasr can even have a special table set up on the beach to be even closer to the tranquil Arabian Sea.