By Calvin Palmer
The Eiffel Tower and surrounding area were evacuated this evening after a bomb threat by an anonymous telephone caller.
The company that manages the famous Paris landmark received the call from a phone booth in the 12th Arondissement just before 9:00 p.m. local time, French police said.
The tower’s security personnel evacuated more than 2,000 tourists.
Specialized police units, including sniffer dogs, were searching the 1,063-foot structure level by level. The search is expected to take 23 hours.
Several police trucks have been posted under the tower with police officers standing guard.
The threat was taken seriously because of the recent ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist atrocity in New York City and the decision by France to ban the wearing of the Muslim veil in public places.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and has become one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. Last year it was visited by 6.6 million people.