TERRORISTS OR SPORTSMEN Eiffel Tower closed after climbers spotted
Posted on 09/21/2015
The Eiffel Tower was shut to all visitors Sunday after three possible 'terrorist suspects' with ‘large rucksacks' were seen climbing France’s iconic landmark early that morning. Anti-terrorist police supported by a helicopter could be seen at the popular tourist destination.
However, following a lengthy search, it was thought they had escaped via parachute - prompting a theory that they had been extreme sportsmen all along.
“There were reports of three people climbing the tower from the outside from about 5.30am,” said a police source.
“They were said to have large rucksacks so no chances could be taken. They completely disappeared, so enquiries are centered on them being extreme parachutists.
“There were of course fears that they may have left dangerous material on the tower before leaving.”
By 9am, the hundreds of people already waiting to go up the tower faced locked ticket booths and were told to leave the area.
A police cordon was formed around the tower and people were moved to the banks of the nearby River Seine.
The tower has frequently been threatened by terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and ISIS. Security has been beefed up since attacks by three radical Islamist gunmen in the city in January.
There have also been numerous bomb alerts at the Eiffel Tower in recent years, and France is currently on the highest state vigilance alert.
In 2005, a Norwegian parachutist died while attempting to jump off the tower with a parachute.
The 1,050 ft tall iron lattice tower was built for the 1889 World’s Fair, and soon turned into a prestige symbol of modern France.
It is the most visited paid-for monument in the world, visited by approximately seven million people a year.
The tower finally re-opened at around 2pm local time, following a closure of more than five hours.
Police were 'searching Paris', for the culprits, said the source.