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Glare from London Skyscraper Blamed for Melting Car

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Glare from London Skyscraper Blamed for Melting Car

Did the building developers make a glaring error?

By Samantha Grossman @sam_grossmanSept. 03, 20130

o to Kindle




A man reacts to a shaft of intense sunlight reflected from the glass windows of the new “Walkie Talkie” tower in central London on August 30, 2013.

Anticipation is building as construction of London’s “Walkie Talkie” skyscraper continues, but there’s one problem already towering over its developers: the structure may be melting cars. Seriously.

The commercial skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the city’s financial district, which earned its nickname for its distinct shape, has been blamed for reflecting enough sunlight to warp the metal on parked cars, the BBC reports. A man said he had parked his Jaguar on a nearby street and after he returned two hours later, noticed damage to the vehicle’s mirror, panels and Jaguar badge. He also told the BBC that he found a note from the construction company on the windshield that said, “Your car’s buckled, could you give us a call?” Ouch.

In the meantime, the building developers, Land Securities and Canary Wharf, aren’t taking this lightly. They apologized to the Jaguar owner and paid for repairs, and are now investigating. “As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further,” the companies said in a joint statement. They also hit us with some science: “The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks.”

The epic car-melting ray of light has already caused such a stir that if we’re lucky, maybe Madonna will write another song about it.

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