Oops: new sun-reflecting London skyscraper melts cars
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 - 01:16
Sept. 3 - A skyscraper under construction in London, nicknamed the Walkie Talkie due to its curved shape, is reflecting sunlight so strongly it has burned objects below, including cars, say locals. Tara Cleary reports.
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It's called the Walkie Talkie because of its shape - and it's definitely London's hottest new building.
Reflected sunlight from the glass windows is causing problems on the streets below.
The owner of a Jaguar was horrified to find his car was melting in its parking space - which has since been closed off to vehicles.
People who work in the area say the luxury car isn't the only victim.
SOUNDBITE: Unidentified businessman who works in the area, saying (English):
"Yesterday people were feeling this bike saddle. It actually caught alight and the smoke was rising up off of there. But also it just gets so hot and you put your hand out into the light and immediately it's like scorching you right away."
SOUNDBITE: Unidentified man who works in the area, saying (English):
"It gets the top of your feet the worst if you're wearing leather shoes. You can't stand it for too long."
This restaurant has suffered a melted chair and damaged tiles.
The burning question though, is: how to solve the problem?
Solar Physicist, Simon Foster has a possible solution.
SOUNDBITE: Simon Foster, Solar Physicist, Imperial College, saying (English):
"Coating some sort of kind of paint or something that scatters the light out so it doesn't come down or absorbs some of that energy so it's not as hot down here but obviously you've got to cover that entire surface or the area, which is a problem. And that's gonna take a long time and you've actually got to come up with the coating that will actually go on the glass."
On reflection, perhaps it's best to avoid this part of London for the time being.
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