The Eiffel Tower was evacuated Saturday evening after local police received a bomb threat from an anonymous caller, L'Express reports. The call said the attack would occur around 9:30 p.m. local time, which was about 20 minutes ago. As of this posting, the Eiffel Tower was still standing.
Some 1,500 people, including shopkeepers and tower security, were forced down from the monument and into the Champs-de-Mars as Paris police ascended with teams of bomb-sniffing dogs. Paris' anti-terrorism squad are on the scene investigating, too. The source of the call is currently unknown, but according to Le Parisien it originated from a phone booth in a Paris suburb.
It's not often police take threats like this seriously enough to shut the whole tourist attraction down, removing visitors and tower staff and security to investigate. The Associated Press points out it does happen occasionally, though: once in 2012 and twice in 2011. So for whatever reason Paris police took this threat very seriously. Whether or not it has something to with France's current conflicts with terrorist organizations in northern Africa is unknown. The monument could remain closed for several hours while police search teams secure 1,063ft of the structure.
So, yeah, everyone can calm down for now. This isn't going to happen:
[Lead image via @Newsbreaker/@stefandevries]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.