Three Unidentified People Climbed, Possibly Parachuted Off, Eiffel Tower
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It might look like an enticing jungle gym with a huge spire on top, but the Eiffel Tower is not to be climbed upon, and doing so will lead to vigilant efforts by local police officials to make sure the area is safe.
CNN reports such a thing occurred early Sunday morning as tourists began to flock to the iconic Parisian landmark.
According to the report, three people were seen climbing on the Eiffel Tower, only to flee once police made their way onto the scene. CNN had learned that “Security agents called police after seeing the group at 5:30 a.m., but the climbers escaped before officers arrived.”
Unfortunately, the identities and motives of the climbers remain a mystery. As The Independent reports, police were taking a proactive approach to ensuring the metal tower was safe before tourists were allowed to embark upon the attraction in a normal fashion later Sunday afternoon.
The general worry was that the stunt had anything to do with possible terrorism. The Independent is careful to remind: “France has been on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January when Islamist terrorists murdered 12 people in the offices of the satirical magazine for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.”
CNN reports that a helicopter roamed around the area, utilizing thermal imaging to attempt to track down the anonymous climbers.
The Eiffel Tower was also reportedly inspected by an emergency response team to ensure its safety before allowing its opening to the public at large at 2 p.m. local time.
While the climbers have thus far scurried off into anonymity, officials did offer a bit of insight into how three unidentified people managed to get away.
A police official explained to Le Figaro, via Google Translate, “there is a strong likelihood that the suspects were able to flee in the morning, in parachuting or flying wing before the arrival of the crews.”
As for motives, the Agence France Presse, which offers a varied report signaling just one "intruder," delivers a speculative theory: “A policeman at the scene said the intruder may have been an adventurer seeking to parachute off the tower, which is 324 metres (354 yards) tall — a sight not uncommon in the French capital. In 2005, however, a Norwegian man died while attempting a similar feat.”
As of this writing, the Eiffel Tower remains open and safe, welcoming droves of interested parties to scour its inner recesses in the normal fashion.
Just please refrain from climbing or jumping off the thing, because it is overwhelmingly frowned upon.
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