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Cracks appear on ledge at Chicago's Willis Tower

CHICAGO – Officials at Chicago’s Willis Tower say the popular tourist attraction is safe, even though a glass ledge jutting from the building’s 103rd floor appeared to crack beneath the feet of a visiting family.

The see-through glass bays are known as The Ledge and extend about 4 feet from the building, which was once called the Sears Tower. Officials say the family wasn’t in danger when the cracks appeared Wednesday.

In a statement Thursday, Willis Tower said a protective coating covering the glass surface cracked, not the glass itself. It says the coating occasionally cracks but does not affect the “structural integrity” of the ledge.

Officials say the four ledges that have been a popular – if frightening – experience since opening in 2009 have been temporarily closed for “routine inspection.”

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