All tourists inside the monument were evacuated after an anonymous caller phoned police Wednesday morning and said a bomb had been placed inside the famous Parisian tower, an official with the tower’s management company told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to be publicly named.
Police had cordoned off the streets below the Eiffel Tower and the bridge stretching across the Seine River to Trocadero Plaza but started removing the tape some two hours later. Some tourists were seen still walking in the area.
French police officers secure the bridge leading to the Eiffel Tower, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Paris. Paris police have blockaded the area around the Eiffel Tower after a phone-in bomb threat. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Police did not immediately release a statement detailing the threat. Two officers at the scene also told the AP that the operation was the result of a phone-in bomb threat.
Citing unnamed police sources, French journalist Amaury Bucco tweeted that a man “shouted Allahua Akbar" (Arabic for "God is great") and threatened to detonate a device to "blow up everything" shortly after 11 a.m. local time.
The 131-year-old tower gets about 25,000 tourists daily in normal years, but visits are down this year because of coronavirus travel restrictions. While the Eiffel Tower is scheduled to be open every day, it occasionally closes because of suicide threats, bomb threats or labor strikes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.