World & Nation

Eiffel Tower climber surrenders; Paris landmark to reopen Tuesday

A rescue worker, top in red, hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between t
A rescue worker, top in red, hangs from the Eiffel Tower while a climber stands below him between two iron columns on May 20, 2019.
(Michel Euler / Associated Press)

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 French 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 1,063-foot tower, and stayed there. His motives remained unclear, and authorities declined to give details about his identity.

Hours into the 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.

A man climbs the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France - 20 May 2019
A man climbs the Eiffel Tower in Paris while a rescuer in red tries to communicate with him on May 20, 2019.
(Yoan Valat / EPA/Shutterstock)

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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.

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

Police prevent tourists from entering the area of the Eiffel Tower Monday, May 20, 2019 in Paris. Th
French police prevent tourists from nearing the Eiffel Tower after a man began climbing the Paris monument on May 20, 2019.
(Michel Euler / Associated Press)

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