Olympic Flame Doused 5 Times; Paris Relay Cut Short

Torch is put out, put on a bus, re-lighted, then put out again
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2008 11:50 AM CDT
A Tibetan flag, center, and a Chinese flag, behind, are seen during the Olympic torch relay in Paris, Monday April 7, 2008.    (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – Paris police today extinguished the Olympic flame five times after massive pro-Tibet protests turned the torch relay into chaos. The torch was doused for the first time near the start of the route at the Eiffel Tower and taken on board the bus that accompanies the runners, the AP reports. Officials re-lit it farther along the route, only to douse it again four more times before finally cutting short the relay.

Despite 3,000 officers providing security on motorcycles, in jogging gear and on roller blades, at least two human-rights protesters got within almost an arm’s length of the flame before they were grabbed by police. Other activists from the media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders managed to scale the Eiffel Tower and hang a black flag with handcuffs in place of the Olympic rings.