The Statesman reports that more glass panels fell from downtown Austin’s W Hotel. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. This is the second incident of falling glass panels this month. In the photo below, it appears there are panels missing from three floors.
The W Austin is investigating the incident involving three glass balcony panels that fell Monday from unoccupied residences above the hotel, causing damage to cars but fortunately no injuries. Based on the information that is currently available, the hotel believes that one glass panel on the 31st floor was broken and that the resulting falling debris broke panels on the 29th and 22nd floors. It is unknown what caused the first panel to break. Engineering and glass experts are investigating and we continue to cooperate with city officials. No one was injured; it is believed that five parked cars were minimally damaged.
Although the exact cause of the breakage is unknown at this time, given that two other glass balcony panels shattered on June 10, the owners of the project have made the decision to replace every balcony glass panel on the building.
Temporary safety measures will be implemented immediately to prevent further incidents and covered pedestrian walkways will be erected around affected parts of the building.
While construction of the covered sidewalks is occurring, pedestrian access to the site on Lavaca, Guadalupe and Third Streets will be restricted. Although the hotel and residential lobby entrances to the building are temporarily closed, the hotel remains open and access to the property for guests, residents and patrons will be provided through the parking garage.
All vehicular lanes of traffic on Lavaca and Third Streets have been reopened.
Again, we are in the early stages of the investigation of this incident and will keep the media informed as we have more information.