One visitor said he thought he was about to fall 103 stories when the pane of glass started to crack as he sat on it posing for pictures with his family, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“I had my palms on the floor and I could feel it cracking,” he said. “Honestly, I was in shock, in disbelief. I was scared.”
Officials say he was always safe, however, as it was only a protective coating on the glass that had cracked, and not the three half-inch-thick layers of glass underneath it. Those can hold up to five tons, which is a heck of a lot of tourists.
“This protective coating occasionally cracks,” said Willis Tower spokesman Bill Utter. “Usually when someone has something sharp in their pocket and it gets poked. It did what it was designed to do.”
Despite the family group feeling like “there was only cracked glass between us and 103 floors down,” as one of the visitors said, this isn’t an abnormal occurrence.
“It’s happened in the past,” the spokesman said, confirming there is no structural damage to the ledge. “We hope they come back.”
Scare of a lifetime in just a few seconds at the Willis Tower [Chicago Tribune]