Tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris are believed to have been trapped in the landmark site as armed police surrounded its base amid reports of a “gunman” on the loose this evening.
People took to social media to share images of the tourist attraction shut off and a police cordon surrounding it, with witnesses being interrogated by police. Officers cleared the area and appeared to search some witnesses.
One person tweeted: “#EiffelTower is shut off with a large security presence from Trocadéro – trying to see what if anything is going on…”
Another said: “#EiffelTower something not right?”
Bob Thomas said on Twitter: “Anyone know what is going on at the Eiffel Tower? All been shut down.”
Earlier in the evening Bob told the Mirror: “We’re stuck in one of the legs outside the lift. We’ve been locked in. Told it’s a full lock down. Nothing official yet. We are currently locked down at the base outside one of the lifts. Been told a guy was acting weird but no confirmed weapon. The staff have been locked in with us.”
One person has been arrested near the Eiffel Tower, according to French police. Initial reports said the person was carrying a weapon, with some social media users mentioning both a “gun” and a “knife”, but police say these reports are unfounded.
A spokesman for police in Paris said: “A person was arrested, the incident is finished. He wasn’t armed. We’ll know more about his motives tomorrow.”
Paris-based journalist Charlotte Dubenskij said the Eiffel Tower is now open again and trapped tourists have been allowed out.
At about the same time as the Eiffel tower incident was taking place, another security scare unfolded at the Gare du Nord, where passengers on the Eurostar were evacuated when a “suspicious item” was found.
Zoë Grisedale said: “They have found a suspicious item. We are all to wait outside terminal.”
Eurostar addressed the incident on social media, saying: “We regret that for security reasons check-in and border controls will need to be repeated for customers of #ES9063. There will be a consequent delay to the departure of #ES9063. Thank you for your understanding.”