World

Eiffel Tower climber makes it to the top before surrendering to police

A man who scaled the Eiffel Tower and clung to its iron grids for some six hours is safe and in police custody.

Man entered the tower normally along with others but started to climb from the 2nd floor

An unidentified man climbs the Eiffel Tower, which had to be evacuated, next to a Paris fire brigade specialist (in red) in Paris Monday. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

The Eiffel Tower was evacuated and closed down Monday after a man scaled nearly to the top of the Paris monument and refused to come down for more than six hours.

Members of a special firefighter climbing unit and police negotiators eventually persuaded the man to surrender, a Paris police official said. The official said the man was "under control and out of danger" Monday night.

Managers said the tower would reopen Tuesday morning as usual and promised to reimburse people with reserved tickets whose visits were thwarted.

Security agents spotted the man climbing up from the second floor in the early afternoon, triggering an operation to remove the 2,500 visitors from the monument, the tower management company said in a statement. That included people dining on the second level.

A Paris firefighter attempts to reach a man scaling the Eiffel Tower. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

"The man entered the tower normally and started to climb once he was on the second floor," a spokesperson for the tower's operator told Reuters.

The man eventually stopped his climb just below the third level — the highest of the 324-metre tower — and stayed there. Authorities declined to give details about his identity.

Hours into the sky-high incident, the man could be seen standing in the ironworks of Gustave Eiffel's 19th-century monument. A rescuer dressed in red was nestled nearby, interacting with him.

It's not the first time someone has attempted to climb up the tourist attraction. In 2015, British "freerunner" James Kingston climbed the edifice without safety ropes and without permission, dodging security cameras as he went.

The lattice tower is one of the world's most recognizable landmarks. It was constructed between 1887 and 1889 and is the equivalent height of an 81-storey building.

With files from Reuters