Local woman describes panic on Eiffel Tower

French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower at the weekend. The Towerhas remained closed since the attacks during three days of national mourning in Paris. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
French soldiers patrol at the Eiffel Tower at the weekend. The Towerhas remained closed since the attacks during three days of national mourning in Paris. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A local woman has described how panic broke out on the Eiffel Tower as news filtered through of the attacks across central Paris at the weekend.

The Donegal woman and her family were descending the French capital’s iconic building when word of the killings started to filter through.

The woman said that panic unfolded after one of the people in the tour party played a video of breaking news about what was unfolding elsewhere.

The woman, who has asked not to be identified, told the Journal: “I was over in Paris for work purposes.

“We arrived on Friday and everything was normal. The news broke when we were on the Eiffel Tower. A couple had just got engaged and five minutes later we were watching this screen of horror unfolding.

“We were the last people on the Tower. It was shut down immediately after that. There was so much panic at that point- the Eiffel Tower was as public a place as you could get.

“There was a lot of panic on it. It was very uncomfortable. We were about half way down and there was a stampede to get on the elevator.

“I had to walk back. I couldn’t get a taxi and there was no way of communicating. I had literally taken so many photographs that my phone had died and I had no way of texting. I had one of those power packs with me and that only worked for a short while but the lines were blocked.”

The lady said she and her relatives have attended some of the many vigils taking place in the city in the aftermath of the attacks, but that people were understandably very nervous.

“There were lots of police,” she said. “Every shop you go into you are being searched.

“People here are very multi-cultural and people are not off the streets. People are very resilient and are so supportive and comforting, but there is a lot of hysteria, people running, and it’s fear from fear.”

Despite her experience, the woman said she would definitely revisit Paris in the future.