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World's highest glass bridge temporarily closed

Asia

Beijing - The world's longest and highest glass bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, will be temporarily closed from Friday, following a huge influx of tourists during its initial opening.

According to the management committee of the bridge, “an internal system upgrade” would be undertaken during the suspension of business.

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The 430-meter long, 6-meter wide bridge, paved with 99 panes of three-layer transparent glasses, hangs between two steep cliffs 300 meters above the ground.

The bridge has set 10 world records spanning its design and construction. It formally opened on Aug. 20.

The bridge had limited the number of visitors to 8 000 daily, but more than 10 000 people swarmed to the scenic site every day.

The online community was quick to question the bridge's safety after the decision to close it to visitors.

However, the management committee said the closure was due to software and hardware problems due to the mass flow of visitors.

Any changes made as a result of the upgrade will have to pass an official appraisal before the bridge can be reopened, the committee said.

The 430-meter long, 6-meter wide bridge, paved with 99 panes of three-layer transparent glasses, hangs between two steep cliffs 300 meters above the ground.

The bridge is set amid the spectacular, jaw-dropping Grand Canyon Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, where the unique pillar-like mountain formation, listed on Unesco's world heritage list, influenced the scenery in the Hollywood blockbuster movie Avatar.

A ticket to visit the bridge costs 138 yuan (about R300). No belongings are allowed except for wallets or mobile phones with cover. Visitors are not allowed to wear high heeled shoes, and must cross the bridge without the aid of the railings.

Xinhua

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