The Eiffel Tower was evacuated today after a bomb threat was received from an anonymous caller and a suspicious package was found by police officers who were searching the iconic French landmark.
The Associated Press reports 4000 tourists were swiftly evacuated from the Eiffel Tower, located on Champ de Mars in Paris, after a caller said "it would blow up at 1700 GMT."
Police report having discovered a package on the plaza at the base of the tower while checking for explosives, none of which were found, during the two hours the iron-latticed tower was closed.
"Police officers cordoned off the sandy plaza beneath the tower and soldiers in camouflage gear patrolled the site after the evacuation," said the AP. Visitors and spectators who gathered were moved to the banks of the Seine River during the search.
"Built as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, the tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world. Millions of people ascend the 324-meter (1,063-foot) Eiffel Tower each year," according to Wikipedia.
Authorities have not determined the link, if any, between the package that was found and the phone call and are continuing to investigate the incident. Police have not released any other information at this time.
The tower is no stranger to potential threats and evacuations. The AP reports that twice last year the structure was evacuated along with the immediate area surrounding it, including two subway stations. MSNBC reported that one of the bomb threat phone calls was traced to a pay phone in Paris.
Ticket-holding tourists have been allowed back into the Eiffel Tower where tours have resumed after today's short delay