The “human spider” struck in London. Alain Robert, a French mountaineer known for climbing the world’s tallest buildings with his bare hands and without ropes or harnesses, known as “French Spiderman” climbed the Heron Tower in London on Thursday, October 25. Once at the top, Robert was arrested by the police.
“I fully feel alive when my life is at stake. It may sound a bit scary and crazy but this is the way it is,” said the 56-year-old Frenchman after his ascent of the Heron Tower, as reported by The Independent.
A large crowd of excited onlookers was able to view his escalation, which started just before 2pm. The spectators even applauded Alain Robert when he greeted them halfway. It took him just under an hour to reach the top of the Heron Tower, the highest in London at 755 feet.
According to several media reports, it was only at the last minute that the Frenchman decided to climb this particular building, after assessing and deciding against the Walkie Talkie and the Cheese Grater.
The London police first had to secure the premises. Commander Karen Baxter condemned Robert’s stunt. She told The Independent, “The incident this afternoon has had a considerable impact on police, other emergency services and the local community. Our officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service all attended this incident taking them away from genuine emergencies.”
Roads from Camomile Street to Bevis Marks had to be closed and traffic was severely disrupted. “While the incident has caused immense disruption to everyday business in the City of London, [Alain Robert’s climb] also posed a significant level of risk to the safety of people in and around Heron Tower at the time.”
Once at the top, Robert was arrested. This is not the first time he has climbed a London building. He had already faced the Lloyd’s building and Portland House, but he hadn’t been back to try another structure in the English capital in nine years. His international feats include the Empire State Building in New York and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The Frenchman was scheduled to be brought before a judge of the City of London Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 26, as noted by The City AM.
This article first appeared on our sister site French Morning London.