A rescue worker (top, in red) hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber below him clings to two iron columns Monday in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

A rescue worker (top, in red) hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber below him clings to two iron columns Monday in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

His presence triggered the evacuation of 2,500 visitors from the monument.

Associated Press

PARIS — 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.

Talk to us

More in Nation-World

John Lewis, lion of civil rights and Congress, dies at 80

He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.

Boeing has settled almost all Lion Air crash-death claims

The company didn’t say how much it paid the families of the people killed in the 2018 Indonesia crash.

Supreme Court: LGBT people protected from job discrimination

Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Boeing, suppliers plunge on stop-and-go 737 Max comeback

An uptick in Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has added to concerns that airlines face a prolonged recovery

Boeing goes another month without a single airliner order

Airlines are canceling thousands of flights while passengers remain too scared to fly.

Bellevue couple’s nightmare: Held in China, away from daughter

Chinese officials want the man’s father to return from the U.S. to face 20-year-old embezzling charges.

Airbus CEO warns workers it’s bleeding cash and needs cuts

Both Airbus and Boeing are preparing for job cuts as they gauge the depth of the downturn.

U.S. unsure it can meet deadline to disburse funds to tribes

The department hasn’t determined whether unique Alaska Native corporations are eligible for a share.

As people stay home, Earth turns wilder and cleaner

“There’s some silver lining for wildlife in what otherwise is a fairly catastrophic time for humans.”

Trump, Congress scramble to revive virus-hunting agency

In 2019 it was without a permanent leader, and in the Trump administration’s budget-slashing sights.

Virus casts a dark cloud over once-thriving home market

Shutdown orders have halted open houses, sellers are delaying listings and buyers are losing their jobs.