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CNN BREAKING NEWS

One of Eiffel Towers Top Floors on Fire

Aired July 22, 2003 - 14:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now back to Paris, France, a developing story that we've been bringing you within the past 20 minutes or so. We're going to take a shot here of the Web cam, a live Web cam, via TF-1. That's a French television web cam. You can see a little bit of the smoke there from atop the Eiffel Tower. We're told that a fire did break out, apparently in a technical room. Here you go. You can see the smoke billowing from the top of the Eiffel Tower there, a fire possibly from an electrical box that caught fire. It's a housing antenna equipment, we are told, at the top there.
So far, we are told evacuations did occur, but no injuries. Andre Brauns is one of CNN's producers there in Paris. I'm not sure, Andre, if you've arrived there to the Eiffel Tower yet, but what do you know?

ANDRE BRAUNS, CNN PRODUCER: Well, this is correct, I am standing right now under the imposing figure here of the Eiffel Tower. It's a lovely evening here in Paris. There is no more apparent fire whatsoever on the most famous site of France, the Eiffel Tower.

As I'm talking to you right now, a large number of fire trucks, more than 30 I counted so far, are on site over here.

As you mentioned, the evacuation is over. There are no injured. I was talking earlier to a young man, Medisa Lada (ph), a tourist from Costa Rica, age 19, that he witnessed when the fire started. As he said, first were some small black fire that started, and someone tried to put it out with an extinguisher and was not successful. The fire continued and turned into flames. The tourists left the Eiffel Tower.

Let me remind you that you have a number of elevators that continued to function normally. And practically just two or three minutes ago, I was talking to a fireman that confirmed the evacuation went smoothly, there were no injured, and practically the last tourist that were kept for a while to be checked by the medical personnel around here. They were all told to go.

This is the first time, indeed, such a fire takes place ever to our knowledge so far. And indeed the fire started in a technical room almost an hour ago.

That's all I can report so far from the Eiffel Tower here in Paris.

PHILLIPS: Well, that's pretty amazing since the Eiffel Tower was I inaugurated back in 1889, that Andre Brauns there is reporting the first fire to take place at the Eiffel Tower, an area that 6 million people visit every year, more than a thousand feet high, pretty good track record. Once again, the fire under control, we are told, via our producer in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. No injuries reported. The evacuation took place perfectly, according to Andre Brauns. Once again, this is a Web cam via the French television is how we've been able to bring you these pictures.

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