Man caught climbing the Eiffel Tower
Posted May 20, 2019 10:49 a.m. EDT
Updated May 20, 2019 4:46 p.m. EDT
CNN — Officers have caught the man who climbed up the side of the Eiffel Tower on Monday afternoon, triggering an evacuation of the famous structure.
He is now under police control, a Paris police spokesperson told CNN. His motivation for scaling the Paris landmark remains unclear.
Officials closed the tower and began evacuating visitors after the man was first spotted. The situation lasted just over seven hours before the climber's capture.
Pictures and videos of the individual climbing up the tower, which is 324 meters (1,062 feet) tall, have been circulating online.
"The Eiffel Tower has been closed and is in the process of being evacuated because a person is scaling it," a spokeswoman for the landmark said earlier in the day.
Irish tourist Claire Murphy, who is on vacation in Paris, told CNN that the lockdown began at 2:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. ET) and that she had been stuck on the tower's top floor.
Almost 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year. Completed in 1889, it was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel as part of a "Universal Exposition" marking the centenary of the French Revolution. It celebrated its 130th anniversary last week.
This isn't the first time someone has tried to scale the tower. Three people were spotted climbing the landmark in 2015. It was also evacuated twice in 2010 due to bomb threats, once in 2013 over security concerns and was closed for two days following the terror attacks in Paris in 2015.
In 2017, a protective glass wall measuring 65 millimeters (about 2.5 inches) thick and resistant to bullets was erected around the base of the tower to provide increased security.