Eiffel Tower reopens after bomb scare

PARIS Fri Aug 9, 2013 12:35pm EDT

An aerial view shows the Eiffel Tower (C), the Seine River and the Paris skyline on July 14, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

An aerial view shows the Eiffel Tower (C), the Seine River and the Paris skyline on July 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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PARIS (Reuters) - Hundreds of tourists were evacuated from the Eiffel Tower on Friday afternoon in response to a bomb alert, but it was found to be a scare and the Paris landmark reopened two hours later, police told Reuters.

Police sent a bomb disposal unit to inspect the monument after an anonymous phone call triggered the alert around 2 p.m. (1200 GMT), but the team found nothing suspicious and the tower was reopened, a police official said.

Visitors at the top had to take lifts and then some 700 steps to reach the ground and diners at the high-priced Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor, about half-way up, were forced to abandon half-eaten lunches and head for the stairs.

Western countries are on high alert since the U.S. State Department issued a global travel warning to American citizens last week and closed several of its embassies over unspecified security concerns.

France has already been on high alert for the past few months after its military intervention in Mali prompted threats against French interests from the North African wing of al Qaeda.

Built in 1889, the 324-metre-high (1,062-foot) iron Eiffel tower sees some 7 million visitors each year and up to 30,000 a day in the peak summer season.

The tower is regularly subject to bomb scares but the threats only cause full evacuations a couple of times a year.

(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Comments (3)
suemarie000 wrote:
Ok…this is becoming a pattern. it took us to the 2nd plane to see it was terrorism on 9/11. This is what…..the 24th or 25th enterprise to close down due to threats? I know none can afford to take a chance that these are not real but I think I see what Al-Qaeda is doing. They are running havoc with world wide threats without having to lift a finger. Now how do we combat that? Only one way….annihilate the those behind the threats no matter how long it takes to stamp out the cancer.

Aug 09, 2013 10:59am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CDN_Rebel wrote:
@suemarie000 The French have been dealing with terrorism way longer than America has, since the Algerian uprising. They’ve dealt with subway bombings, attraction bombings, terror murders (ie random gun violence to scare people) for decades – and their troubles have nothing to do with al Qaeda. The world is not America… they have their own problems.

Aug 09, 2013 12:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
big_cynic wrote:
You suggest there is “Only one way….annihilate [the] those behind the threats no matter how long it takes to stamp out the cancer”. I’m going to submit that many of thus simply don’t see it that way. It is the “we’re Americans; our way is the right way; we’re going to crush you; Liberty for all!” which may well be at the root of all this anti-Western Radical Muslim sentiment. For years (decades) we’ve been interjecting ourselves everywhere we’ve seen an American interest. In the past decade, this busy-body routine has become ever more pervasive, and at greater destruction to the “home team”. these days, if we don’t like some folks, we’ll just send in an un-manned drone to take ‘em out, regardless of the collateral damage to innocent people and property.
Yet our “divine right” to pursue this strategy, as an enabling democracy, is becoming ever more suspect, as AQAP sees, in real time, how American banks are raping Main Street, and our own NSA, IRS, DEA and others are spying on their own taxpaying citizens. It is just these banks and governmental agencies that best (and worst) represent the very things the terrorists want to destroy.
The folks in Iraq, in Yemen, in Pakistan may not have the way of life and advantages many of us would wish for them. But they darn well have cell phones and internet service, and they know well what is going in the world around them. I think that more than wanting to hurt American citizens beleaguered by their own government, they would much prefer to have the U.S. simply butt out of trying to run the Middle East.

Aug 09, 2013 12:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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