Man in police custody for climbing Eiffel Tower

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 21 May 2019

A man who was spotted climbing the Eiffel Tower on Monday was taken into custody by police after he reached the top. Reuters reports that ‘Rescuers successfully talked down a man who scaled the upper heights of the Eiffel Tower on Monday, forcing the monument’s evacuation, and handed him over to police.’

A man climbs up to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris without any protection as a firefighter looks down at him from the top on 20 May, 2019. Photo by Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images

‘At 9.30pm, Paris firefighters succeeded in reasoning with the individual and he is now in the hands of the competent authorities,’ the tower operator told Reuters. The popular tourist landmark was closed to visitors at 2.15pm on Monday afternoon after the climber was first spotted. The lockdown meant those on the upper viewing deck were not allowed to leave and the area at the base of the Eiffel Tower was evacuated.

Reuters reported that an Eiffel Tower spokesperson said, ‘The man entered the tower normally and started to climb once he was on the second floor.’

According to Outside Online, French authorities said ‘The climber was threatening suicide before they managed to safely bring him inside, just as he reached the tower’s highest level. With the man in custody, officials announced that the tower will open as usual on Tuesday morning.’

The iconic wrought-iron tower, designed and built by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1889, receives about 7 million visitors annually. This man was not the first to scale the monument, in 2015 James Kingston and a friend made it to the top and filmed the climb. There have been other attempts to scale the ladder-like structure, which is the highest ‘building’ in Paris, but these attempts were not successful.

The man who climbed the tower yesterday has not yet been identified.

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