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

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Ucluelet’s Terrace Beach Resort is for sale

The commercial offering of 21 suites and cabins was recently listed for $4,495,000

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

“He was just untying the boats and watching them float away,” said Harbour Master Kevin Cortes.

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Ucluelet RCMP warns of scammers impersonating police

“Police will never demand payment of any kind to get rid of an arrest warrant.”

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read