Israeli man jumps to his death off Eiffel Tower

June 25, 2012 - 12:58 PM

PARIS (AP) — A 25-year-old man from Israel jumped to his death from the Eiffel Tower after thwarting security measures and climbing the Paris monument at twilight, authorities said Monday.

The man, who was not publicly identified, mounted the tower's western pillar after it was closed to the public Sunday night, a Paris police official said. The man was approaching the third-level observatory deck of the tower, at 276 meters (906 feet), when rescue climbers made it to the scene, the official said.

The rescue climbers starting talking to him but then he jumped, landed on the tower's second floor and died on impact, soon after midnight Monday, the official said. The official was not authorized to be publicly named because of police policy.

"He jumped into the air. ... It was not an accidental fall," Paris prosecutor's spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. She said he was born in Israel and had an Israeli passport. It is unclear whether he was a tourist.

The tower was open as usual Monday after the incident. The company that manages the 324-meter- (1063-feet-) high tower says it was the first suicide there in two years. The company said such incidents are very rare but would not provide historical figures for how often they occur.

Some 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year.