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French Authorities Shut Down Eiffel Tower Briefly After Bomb Threat

French police officers secure the bridge leading to the Eiffel Tower, Sep 23 2020, after a phone-in bomb threat.

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French police briefly shut down the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris on Wednesday morning following a phoned-in bomb threat. 

Police evacuated several hundred tourists, restaurant staff and maintenance workers after law enforcement officials received a call suggesting a bomb had been placed in the tower. 

Streets were blocked off below the tower, as was the bridge stretching across the Seine River to Trocadero Plaza. Police lifted the barricades two hours later after a search revealed the tower was clear. 

A tour guide at the scene said the tower was evacuated in an orderly fashion, and there were no signs of panic. 

A maintenance worker told the Reuters news agency he found the situation “weird” since the tower is under constant surveillance. He said he had worked at the tower for a year and never saw anything suspicious. 

The 131-year-old Eiffel Tower gets about 25,000 daily tourists in normal years, but visits are down this year because of coronavirus travel restrictions. 

The Associated Press reports the tower is scheduled to be open every day, but occasionally closes because of suicide threats, bomb threats or labor strikes.

VOA News

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