Police prevent tourists from entering the area of the Eiffel Tower Monday, May 20, 2019 in Paris. The Eiffel Tower has been closed to visitors after a person has tried to scale it. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

The Eiffel Tower was evacuated and closed down Monday after a man scaled nearly to the top of the Paris monument and refused to come down for several hours.

Members of a special firefighter climbing unit and police negotiators eventually persuaded the man to surrender, a Paris police official said. The official said the man was “under control and out of danger” Monday night.

Managers said the tower would reopen Tuesday morning as usual and promised to reimburse people with reserved tickets whose visits were thwarted.

Security agents spotted the man climbing up from the second floor in the early afternoon, triggering an operation to evacuate the 2,500 visitors on the monument, the tower management company said in a statement. That included people dining on the second level.

The man eventually stopped his climb just below the third level, which is the highest level of the 324-meter (1,063-foot) tower, and stayed there. His motives remained unclear, and authorities declined to give details about his identity.

Hours into the sky-high incident, the man could be seen standing in the ironworks of Gustave Eiffel’s 19th century monument. A rescuer dressed in red was nestled nearby, interacting with him.

Authorities wouldn’t say how the trespasser managed to get past the Eiffel Tower’s stringent security system. The management company, called SETE, insisted that such intrusions remain “very rare.”

It’s not the first time someone has attempted to climb up the tourist attraction. In 2015, British “freerunner” James Kingston climbed the edifice without safety ropes and without permission, dodging security cameras as he went.

However, as time passed Monday it became increasingly unlikely that the incident was a prank or a challenge. The tower has seen occasional suicide attempts in the past.

The tower, the tallest structure in Paris, is about the same height as an 81-story building.

READ MORE: Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

Fast-food restaurants serving up free non-medical masks

Free protection will come in packages of four

Alberta confirms 29 new COVID-19 cases

Of the total 6,955 confirmed cases, 652 are active

VIDEO: Tim Hus performs at Ponoka long-term care facilities

Direct Energy pop-up concerts hope to raise spirits

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Senate joins House of Commons in extending suspension until mid-June

Another $650M in COVID-19 aid bound for Indigenous communities, Miller says

Another $650M in COVID-19 aid bound for Indigenous communities, Miller says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Canada exploring ways to reunite families divided by COVID-19 border closure

Canada exploring ways to reunite families divided by COVID-19 border closure

Most Read