Bomb Scare Interrupts an Afternoon at the Eiffel Tower

The iconic Eiffel Tower has been the sight of frequent bomb scares. Photo: Terrazzo for flickr.

The iconic Eiffel Tower has been the sight of frequent bomb scares. Photo: Terrazzo for flickr.

On the afternoon of Friday, August 9, thousands of visitors were evacuated from Paris’s Eiffel Tower and surrounding area following a bomb threat.

Security received an anonymous phone tip around 2 PM before dispatching a bomb disposal unit to search the monument. Tourists in the Tower’s summit were forced to take elevators and approximately 700 steps down to the exit. Those halfway up or dining in the famous second-floor Jules Verne restaurant abandoned their lunches and took to one of several flights of stairs down.

The bomb squad found no explosives or conclusive evidence of the presence of one, and gave permission for the Tower to reopen only two hours later.

Western European nations are reportedly on high alert following the global warning issued by the U.S. State Department last week to American travellers to the area. Multiple United States embassies are temporarily closed due to undisclosed safety concerns.

France, however, has already been on high alert for several months in response to threats — resulting from French military interventions in Mali — from a North African chapter of al-Qaeda.

The Eiffel Tower was originally constructed in 1889 as a temporary structure for that year’s World Fair. The beloved 324-meter-tall (1062-foot) edifice hosts over 7 million tourists annually, and nearly 30,000 per day during the prime summer vacation season.

The iconic French landmark has in fact been the site of frequent bomb scares, with those resulting in evacuations occurring on an average of two or three times a year.

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  1. […] of visitors were evacuated from Paris’s Eiffel Tower and surrounding area following a bomb threat. Security received an anonymous phone tip around 2 PM […]

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