Eiffel Tower evacuated after climber spotted on monument

May 21, 2019

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PARIS: A rescue worker (top in red) hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between two iron columns.—AP
PARIS: A rescue worker (top in red) hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between two iron columns.—AP

PARIS: The Eiffel Tower was evacuated on Monday afternoon after a man was spotted climbing up the Paris landmark, the company that operates the structure said.

“A climber has been spotted. It’s the standard procedure. We have to stop the person, and in that case we evacuate the tower,” an official with the SETE operator said, adding that police were on the scene. The esplanade underneath the monument was also evacuated. “We kindly advise our visitors to postpone their visit,” the SETE added on Twitter.

Police have made contact with the climber but do not yet know why he began his ascent via the iron beams, a police source said.

The tower is regularly the target of rogue freeclimbers hoping to scale one of the world’s most famous structures, often for bragging rights.

But police have also been called in several times in recent years to try to thwart suicide attempts.

In October 2017, a young man ventured out on one of the beams and threatened to jump before police were able to convince him to come back.

In 2012, a British man managed to climb to the very top of the 324-metre-high tower before plunging to his death. Nearly seven million people a year visit the 324-metre-high structure, which last week celebrated its 130th anniversary.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019