Cameras set up on Tokyo Skytree to monitor snow, ice build-up
The number of surveillance cameras installed on the Tokyo Skytree is set to double to 45 by the end of the year in an attempt to prevent clumps of snow and ice from falling on passersby and property around the tower.
Reports that chunks of snow and ice had fallen from the upper portion of the structure to the street below within a 400-meter radius hit the headlines in 2011. There have so far been four cases of falling ice, believed to originate from the Skytree, causing damage to nearby property. City officials have voiced concerns that such incidents have the potential to cause serious injury. Tobu Railway Company, which operates Tokyo Skytree, has been stressing that measures are being taken to prevent such incidents in the future.
Glass designed to prevent the accumulation of snow and ice was installed on the observation deck last year. Embedded in the glass, developers said, are 3,000 tiny electric heaters that are designed to melt the snow and stop it from building up.
Tobu Railway said that extra cameras to monitor ice and snow are being installed on the structure before the onset of winter. To date, around 20 cameras have been installed in an attempt to monitor ice and snow build-up and give operators time to clear potential problem clumps and prevent accidents. A team of around 60 security guards has been tasked with warning pedestrians and local residents on the ground if accumulation begins to pose a danger.