Paris snow: Eiffel Tower to remain closed as freezing conditions cause disruption

9 February 2018, 16:07

The Eiffel Tower will continue to remain shut as drivers are told to stay indoors with freezing conditions causing severe disruption in Paris.

France's most popular tourist attraction is staying closed on Friday and Saturday to "ensure the security of visitors" after snow and freezing rain battered the north of the country.

The landmark's operators said workers could not use salt to clear snow or ice from the stairs and platforms of the 324m tower as it could corrode the metal and damage the lifts within the structure.

Instead, workers with hand shovels will clear the snow and de-ice stairs and platforms on the 19th Century construction.

More extreme weather is forecast for the French capital on Friday following heavy snowfall earlier this week, which left hundreds of drivers trapped in traffic jams.

Hundreds of others were left stuck at airports and train stations after 12cm of snow fell in the city and a reported 20cm fell in nearby suburbs.

However, some took advantage of the extreme conditions as skiers and snowboarders took to the hilly streets of Montmartre in Paris on Wednesday and youngsters played in the snow.

Car makers Renault and PSA were forced to stop production at their factories in the city's suburbs as a ban on lorry transport left them without car parts.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo told French media public services in the region needed to be "far better prepared for exceptional events".

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said "lessons would be learned" and defended the authorities' response to the disruption.

French officials are warning of dangerous conditions in about a quarter of the country.