The Eiffel Tower was shut to all visitors today after a terrorist suspect with ‘a large rucksack’ was seen ascending France’s most popular tourist attraction.
Anti-terrorist police supported by a helicopter could be seen at the iconic landmark following the alarm being raised at around 9am, The Daily Mail reported on Sunday.
‘There’s been a report of a man with a rucksack,’ said a police source assisting with the evacuation of the tower.
The unidentified man was seen in the tower at least an hour before it opened, said another police source. By early afternoon, he had still not been found.
‘It’s happened in the past,’ said the same police source. ‘The parachutist hides his kit the night before, and then gets into the tower and jumps off, while videoing.’
In 2005, a Norwegian parachutist died while attempting to jump off the tower.
The 1,050ft 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, with some 7million people a year going up it.
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