They are a huge draw for visitors, but a series of accidents have led one Chinese province to close down all of its glass-bottomed attractions over the past 18 months.

People crosssing a glass bridge in China
The Hongyagu glass bridge was the longest in the world when it opened © Zhang Haiqiang/VCG

China now has 2300 glass-bottomed bridges as well as glass walkways or slides, and they're very popular because they enable those crossing them to see the scenery of mountains and waterfalls around and below them without impediment. The concern around the safety of the glass bridges arose after a series of accidents, including at least two deaths and a number of injuries.

People crossing a glass bridge in China
There are 2300 glass bridges in China © VCG via Getty Images

According to Chinese state media CCTV, Hebei in the northeast of the country has shut down 32 of its glass bridges, walkways and mountain viewing platforms for safety reasons. This includes the glass-bottomed bridge in the Hongyagu Scenic Area, which up to recently was the longest glass bridge in the world. With a length of 488 metres, the bridge is four metres wide and sits at 218 metres above the valley between two steep cliffs, and it opened in July 2018.

People crossing a glass bridge in China
There are some safety concerns over glass bridges in China © Zhang Haiqiang/VCG

Another attraction that has been closed is the East Taihang Glasswalk mountain walkway, which has a special-effect glass floor that scares visitors when it appears to shatter as they stand on it. The Chinese government now wants authorities to carry out comprehensive safety checks on all glass structures, which is likely to take a bit of time, so visitors who want to experience the thrill of walking on glass at a height will have to be patient.

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