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Bomb scare at Eiffel Tower ends without incident

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Eiffel Tower evacuated
  • Incident ends with nothing found
  • The incident, which began around 9 p.m. in Paris, was treated as a routine occurrence
  • Some 2,000 people were in the evacuation area, which included businesses and apartments
  • Eiffel Tower
  • France

Paris, France -- A bomb threat that led authorities to use sniffer dogs to inspect the Eiffel Tower and surrounding areas Tuesday turned out to have been a hoax, CNN affiliate BFM-TV reported, citing police.

The police press office said the telephone threat was reported at 8:20 p.m. and was treated as a routine occurrence; the tower was inspected to determine whether the threat was real.

A telephoned bomb threat also led authorities to briefly evacuate the St. Michel metro station, police said, according to BFM-TV. It was reopened within 30 minutes.

Some 2,000 people had been in the area of the Eiffel Tower and the park in which it sits when the evacuation was ordered, police said, according to BFM-TV. Briefly evacuated were a number a nearby apartment buildings and businesses, according to news reports.

"One person on the scene said the police came by and said there was a problem and they had to leave the area quickly, and that's what they did," CNN's Jim Bittermann reported.

A taxi driver said he drove to the tower two tourists who were planning to eat at the Jules Verne Restaurant, where they had made reservations two months ago, but they were turned back by police.

More than 100 cameras -- more than a third of which are infrared for nighttime surveillance -- are located on the monument, according to the tower's website.

It also includes a network of sprinklers, and more than 150 extinguishers. A water pipe from the ground feeds hydrants on the first two floors; the top floor's hydrants get water from pressurized water tanks.

The 324-meter-high (1,063-foot-high) tower is usually open from 9:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. in September. It was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, and was intended to last for 20 years, according to the tower's website. But it was saved by the advent of wireless telegraphy -- and its use as a platform for antennae. It currently holds 120 antennae.

The tower weighs 10,100 tons and is held together by 2.5 million rivets.

CNN's Pat Thompson contributed to this story.