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Eiffel Tower evacuated after man spotted climbing it

By BBC

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The man’s motivation for scaling the landmark, pictured in a file photo, is unclear. * Getty images

(BBC) — The Eiffel Tower has been closed after a man was seen climbing up its side.

The company that operates the Parisian landmark confirmed that someone was scaling the building, and that it had been evacuated as a result.

An official told AFP news agency that they were following “standard procedure”, while police and specialist firefighters rushed to the scene.

“A climber has been spotted,” they said. “We have to stop the person, and in that case we evacuate the tower.”

The esplanade underneath the tower was also evacuated, while tourists were told to postpone their visits. Streets surrounding the landmark were also placed on lockdown.

Police are said to have made contact with the unidentified climber, but it is unclear what his motivation was.

Images posted on social media show him close to the observation deck at the top of the tower.

An Eiffel Tower spokeswoman told Reuters: “The man entered the tower normally and started to climb once he was on the second floor.”

The first two floors of the landmark can be reached by lift or stairs, but to go higher than that visitors need to get a lift.

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