Tourist tells of ‘this-cannot-be-it type of moment’ during Willis Tower incident

One of the glass enclosures known as The Ledge that sticks out of Willis Tower appeared to crack under the feet of a California family.

Glass cracking against his palms.

Blood rushing through his body.

A “free-fall feeling” — 103 stories in the air.

That’s how Alejandro Garibay of California described his unforgettable moment inside one of the four glass enclosures at Willis Tower known as The Ledge. They are designed, under normal circumstances, to give thrill-seeking tourists the rush of hovering 1,353 feet above the city.

The boxes that jut out from the Willis Tower provide never-before-seen views of the city, and allows spectators to see for 50 miles around

But while taking a photo with family about 9:50 p.m. Wednesday, Garibay said he saw — and felt — the glass underneath him cracking. His “this-cannot-be-it type of moment” led to the entire attraction’s closure Thursday.

“We were just thinking this glass is about to go,” Garibay said.

The family bolted off The Ledge, he said, fearing for their lives. But Willis Tower spokesman Bill Utter said the cracking they felt was simply a scratch-resistant layer on the glass “doing what it’s designed to.” It did not affect the structural integrity of the box, he said.

“Occasionally this happens, but that’s because we designed it this way,” Utter said.

More photos at The Daily Mail.