Chinese tourist's near-death experience prompts closure of theme park attraction

Just as a man was making a final leap across a large gap on a giant suspended walkway at the Wansheng Ordovician Theme Park, a safety harness attached to his waist came loose. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM NEWS.SINA.COM

It was a lucky escape for one Chinese tourist, who had leapt to safety from a giant suspended walkway moments before his harness came loose.

The incident, which was captured on video on Monday (Oct 1) and has since gone viral, has prompted the authorities to shut the attraction at the Wansheng Ordovician Theme Park near Chongqing. It will be closed until further notice.

Footage of the incident posted on Chinese social media platforms this week shows the man crossing a walkway suspended 152m above the ground in south-west China.

But just as the man makes his final leap across the large gap separating the planks, the safety harness attached to his waist comes apart.

He realises this only after safely reaching the other side and is even filmed holding the end of the harness up in surprise.

There is reportedly no safety net below the walkway, which is known as the Extreme Leap and is one of the most popular thrill attractions in the theme park.

It is also home to the world's longest glass foot ridge, which is 120m long and 300m high.

The park's marketing department had said in an interview with Pear Video that it was unlikely for such an incident to happen, and claimed that it was a publicity stunt, Chinese broadcaster CGTN reported.

Social media users were outraged by the comment, with some saying that they would not visit the park if such a risky move was carried out to attract public attention.

Others were also sceptical that it was simply a marketing tactic.

The Chongqing Evening News reported on Wednesday that local government officials had carried out special investigations and found that the staff had failed to secure the safety cord properly. Further investigations are under way.

According to local media reports, staff at the park could be fined 10,000 yuan (S$2,011) if found guilty of negligence.

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