Free climber who scaled The Shard is a teenager

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An urban climber who scaled the outside of the Shard in London this morning has been named as George King.

The 19-year-old personal trainer has posted footage of his courageous climb up Western Europe’s tallest building on Instagram.

He said he spent a year training for the climb and moved to Leyton in east London specifically to prepare for it.

“It's been my dream since I came to London and saw the Shard as a 13-year-old,” Mr King told the Evening Standard.

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"I spent months gathering intelligence and planning to do it.

"To prepare, I free-climbed both the world's and the UK's tallest climbing walls, and I've climbed lots of cranes too.”

Police said they were called out at 5.15am after reports an individual was scaling the Shard’s glass exterior.

One person, who claimed to know Mr King, told the Mirror: "He ran over London Bridge Station, got a boost from someone and did a pull up onto it.

"He used a few suction cups at the start of it but was then climbing free solo."

Free solo means climbing without any equipment.

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Footage shows the man gripping to one of the corners of the building close to the top.

Mr King spoke to police after the climb but was not arrested.

Located close to London Bridge, the Shard is 310 metres (1017 ft) tall and is home to offices, restaurants, a retail arcade and a hotel.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were called at 5.15am on Monday July 8 following reports of a ‘free-climber’ on The Shard.

“Emergency services attended and the man went inside the building where he was spoken to by officers. He was not arrested.”

The man was reportedly not using suction cups or ropes. (Twitter/Dave Williams)
The man was reportedly not using suction cups or ropes. (Twitter/Dave Williams)

This is not the first time The Shard has been targeted by thrill-seekers.

In July 2017, a YouTube user called CassOnline posted footage of him scaling the building.

The blogger, who had waited on the viewing platform until it was closed at 9pm, was detained and interviewed but not arrested.

In 2013, six Greenpeace protesters were arrested after climbing the building before unfurling a ‘Save the Arctic’ flag at the top.

And in 2012, The Shard secured a High Court injunction against Alain Robert, the climber nicknamed the French Spiderman, to stop him attempting to scale the building.

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