The Eiffel Tower was shut down Monday morning after authorities spotted a suspicious man ascending with a lot of baggage.
According to The Mirror (UK)
, firefighters and anti-terror police were called to the scene around 9 a.m. as queued visitors awaited the scheduled opening of the popular tourist attraction. The landmark did not open as scheduled, however, and authorities evacuated visitors off the grounds as employees shuttered the ticket booths.
"There’s been a report of a man with a rucksack," police told reporters.
Police said the rucksack could have contained weaponry or explosives — possibly for terror purposes — however they also said the suspect could have been a non-violent thrill-seeker.
"It’s happened in the past," said police. "The parachutist hides his kit the night before, and then gets into the tower and jumps off, while videoing."
In 2005, for example, a Norwegian BASE jumper died while attempting to parachute from the tower.
Police are still looking for the suspicious man, and the country remains on high alert for terrorists.
Last month, three Americans were awarded the Legion of Honor medal for helping foil a likely terror attack aboard a French train.
Earlier this year, Islamic terrorists attacked the office of France's Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 12.
The Eiffel Tower sees roughly 7 million visitors each year.
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