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LIVE BLOG

Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Highlights: Some priceless artifacts saved by French firefighters

Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, one of France’s most visited places.

By HT Correspondent | Apr 16, 2019 09:36 IST
highlights

Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, one of France’s most visited places.

Flames burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and quickly engulfed the spire, which collapsed.

A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area.

“Everything is collapsing,” a police officer near the scene said as the entire roof of the cathedral continued to burn.

 

Follow updates here:

8:55 am IST

Some Notre Dame treasures saved by French firefighters

Around 400 French firefighters faced a rapidly spreading fire at Notre Dame as they arrived on the scene Monday evening, but appeared to have prevented the complete destruction of the cathedral and managed to rescue some of its priceless artifacts by rushing inside, officials said.

8:30 am IST

Some other heritage sites damaged by fire

On July 9, 1984, a fire believed to have been triggered by a lightning strike caused severe damage to Britain’s imposing York Minster. Overnight September 2-3, 2018, Brazil’s National Museum, north of Rio de Janeiro, was ravaged by a massive fire. In 1996 Venice’s celebrated opera house La Fenice was gutted by fire and in 1994 the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s world-famous opera house was gutted.

8:00 am IST

Cause of Notre Dame fire not know

The exact cause of the blaze was not known, but French media quoted the Paris fire brigade as saying the fire is “potentially linked” to a 6 million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead.

7:45 am IST

Parts of UNESCO world heritage landmark gutted

The inferno destroyed the roof of the 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark, whose spectacular Gothic spire collapsed as orange flames and clouds of grey smoke billowed into the sky. The blaze then spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, immortalized by Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

7:35 am IST

Notre Dame blaze under control after nine hours of firefighting

“The fire is completely under control. It is partially extinguished, there are residual fires to put out.”

Paris firefighters have spent hours battling the devastating blaze at Notre Dame, saving the main structure of the Gothic cathedral from total destruction :AFP

 

7:00 am IST

What Notre Dame Cathedral means to France

Floor plan, factfile and history of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Cathedral receives 12 to 14 million visitors every year. :AFP

 

6:15 am IST

French President Emmanuel Macron pledges a fundraising campaign

French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to start a fundraising campaign to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral after the huge fire engulfed France’s one of the most visited place. :AFP

 

5:55 am IST

Notre Dame de Paris stood the test of time for over 850 years

Over 850 years, Notre Dame de Paris had survived the French Revolution, two world wars, terror threats and pollution. Photos of Notre Dame in 1944 and 1945. Its massive bell announced the liberation of the Paris from Nazi control on August 24, 1944. : AFP

 

4:48 am IST

French billionaire pledges 100 million euros to help rebuild Notre Dame

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault pledged 100 million euros ($113 million) on Monday towards the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was partly gutted by a devastating fire.

In a statement sent to AFP the CEO of the Kering group, which owns Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses, said the money towards “the effort necessary to completely rebuild Notre Dame” would be paid by the Pinault family’s investment firm Artemis, reports news agency AFP.

3:43 am IST

Stands at France’s side to save and restore this priceless heritage: UNESCO

The UN cultural agency “stands at France’s side to save and restore this priceless heritage,” says UNESCO secretary general Audrey Azoulay

3:42 am IST

United Nations extends support to Paris

“Horrified by the pictures coming from Paris with the fire engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral -- a unique example of world heritage that has stood tall since the 14th century. My thoughts are with the people and government of France.”, says United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, reports news agency AFP

3:30 am IST

‘We will rebuild Notre Dame, says French President Emmanuel Macron

“We will rebuild Notre Dame”, an emotional French President Emmanuel Macron vowed on Monday evening as he visited the famed Paris cathedral which was partly ravaged by fire.

With tears in his eyes Macron said that “the worst has been avoided” thanks to the work of firefighters who saved the cathedral’s two towers and facade and vowed to draw on “the best talent” to rebuild the rest.

 

3:14 am IST

‘Worst has been avoided’: French prez on Notre Dame Cathedral fire

French President says worst has been avoided reagrding Notre Dame Cathedral fire

2:44 am IST

Notre Dame’s main structure ‘saved and preserved’: Paris fire official

The main structure of Notre Dame cathedral in central Paris has been saved after hours of fire-fighting to put out a devastating blaze, the city’s top fire official said late Monday.

“We can consider that the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved,” Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet told reporters outside the cathedral, adding it appeared that the two main towers of the building had now been saved, reports news agency AFP.

2:42 am IST

Paris prosecutor’s office opens investigation for the damage caused at Notre Dam Cathedral

Paris prosecutor’s office says it has opened investigation for damage caused accidentally at fire at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral.

2:29 am IST

Firefighters optimistic

Firefighters optimistic they can salvage Notre Dame’s main towers from flames, said Paris mayor as quoted by news agency AP.

2:28 am IST

Those living close to Notre Dame have been evacuated

“Those living close to Notre Dame have been evacuated in case of a possible collapse of the cathedral,” said Paris mayor as quoted by news agency AP.

2:26 am IST

400 firefighters at spot

Around 400 firefighters were attempting to stop the destruction of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday evening, describing the blaze as “difficult” to handle, reported news agency AFP.

2:22 am IST

Parisians gathered to say prayers and sing hymns

Parisians have gathered to say prayers and sing hymns In front of the nearby Saint Julien Les Pauvres church as the massive blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral burns only a few hundred meters away.

Flames and smoke rose in the sky behind the singers. A couple hundred people kneeling in prayer at the center of a larger group, who are standing around the edge and joining in the hymns between the prayers.

Paris archbishop Michel Aupetit is inviting priests across France to ring the bells of their churches in a call for prayers for Notre Dame.

Aupetit is at the cathedral and will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron later Monday night.

2:21 am IST

Shock, prayers around the world for Notre Dame Cathedral

The world reacted with shock, horror and prayers to the massive fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, reported news agency AP.

As the flames tore through the 12th-century cathedral, Spain’s prime minister offered France the help of his country in the recovery.

The fire is a “catastrophe for France, for Spain and for Europe,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez tweeted, adding that the flames are destroying “850 years of history, architecture, painting and sculpture.”

2:18 am IST

Where millions have met with Jesus: Archbishop of Canterbury

“Tonight we pray for the firefighters tackling the tragic #NotreDame fire - and for everyone in France and beyond who watches and weeps for this beautiful, sacred place where millions have met with Jesus Christ. Nous sommes avec vous,” tweeted Archbishop of Canterbury.

1:57 am IST

Fire chief unsure Notre Dame fire won’t advance

The fire chief in Paris says it’s unclear if city firefighters will be able to keep a fire at Notre Dame from spreading and causing more destruction, reported news agency Associated Press.

Fire Chief Jean-Claude Gallet said outside the iconic cathedral as his crews battled the blaze from both the exterior and interior: “We are not sure we are capable of stopping the spreading” to Notre Dame’s second tower and belfry.

Gallet said: “If it collapses, you can imagine how important the damage will be.”

Flames already have reached one of Notre Dame’s towers and brought down the church spire that extended 96-meters-high (315-feet).

1:55 am IST

International sorrow as fire ravages Notre Dame

International leaders voiced their sorrow and solidarity with the French people as fire ravaged the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday.

1:54 am IST

American tourists shocked at Notre Dame fire

A group of Americans from Maine had just finished visiting Notre Dame Cathedral and were in a nearby park when they heard it was on fire.

Freeport resident Lucy Soule, 22, said it was “weird” having been in the church right before this happened. “Now you can smell it burning.”

Soule and her father, Win Soule, 58, and Libby Heselton, 53, are on a weeklong trip to Paris where they planned to “see all the sights” and had just finished their visit to Notre Dame. They had been in the cathedral at 5:30 p.m., about an hour before the fire.

Win told The Associated Press “Now I feel sorry for the people tomorrow. They won’t be able to see it.”

He says “it’s incredible. I’m not religious, but this is clearly very important to a lot of people.”

1:45 am IST

All efforts directed at preventing collapse of northern tower of cathedral: Firefighters

Firefighter at scene says all efforts are being directed at preventing collapse of northern tower of Paris’s Notre-Dame cathedral, reported news agency Reuters.

1:40 am IST

Church in Holy Land ‘prays’ for Notre Dame cathedral

The Catholic Church in the Holy Land said it is praying the fire that ripped through the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday was “not intentional” while expressing solidarity with the church in France.

“We pray that there will be no injuries, for the fire not to be intentional and for least possible damage to the Church,” a statement released in Jerusalem said.

“We express our solidarity with (the) Church in France,” the statement added.

1:32 am IST

Vatican expresses ‘shock and sadness’

The fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has caused shock and sadness in the Holy See, the Vatican spokesman said on Monday.

“The terrible news of the fire that has devastated the cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world, was received in the Holy See with shock and sadness,” Alessandro Gisotti said in a statement.

“We express our closeness to French Catholics and to the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the fire fighters and all those who are doing everything possible deal with this dramatic situation,” he said.

1:25 am IST

Firefighters say may not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral: Official

French Interior Ministry official says firefighters might not be able to save Notre Dame Cathedral

1:10 am IST

YouTube Flags Notre-Dame Fire as 9/11 Conspiracy, Says System Made ‘Wrong Call’

Soon after a fire engulfed Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday, news outlets began streaming live broadcasts on YouTube. Below several of the clips was an odd box of text: A snippet from Encyclopedia Britannica about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

YouTube, a division of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, introduced this text box feature last year to combat the spread of conspiracy theories, including those that question the 9/11 attacks. On Monday, YouTube’s software mistakenly labeled the plumes of smoke in Paris as footage from 2001, triggering the panel below the video.

“We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral,” said a YouTube spokesman. “These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call. We are disabling these panels for live streams related to the fire.”

1:04 am IST

Water-drops deemed unsuitable for Notre Dame

France’s civil security agency says “all means” except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to tackle the blaze.

The defense agency said those were unsuitable for fires like the one at Notre Dame because dumping water on the building could cause the whole structure to collapse.

12:42 am IST

‘Heart-breaking’, tweets Congress

12:41 am IST

Blaze looks terrible, tweets Omar Abdullah

12:25 am IST

‘Sad to see this part of all of us burn’, says Macron

“Like all our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of all of us burn,” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

12:19 am IST

Evening sky in Paris lights up bright orange

Evening sky in Paris lights up bright orange as massive fire causes the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral to collapse.

12:18 am IST

Cause of the fire was yet not known

The cause of the fire was yet not known, but officials say it could be linked to renovation work at the 850-year-old heritage structure, the BBC reported.

A major operation is under way to tackle the blaze, which broke out in the afternoon, and an area surrounding the building in central Paris has been cleared, it quoted officials as saying.

12:08 am IST

London ‘stands in sorrow with Paris’: British capital’s Mayor

London “stands in sorrow” with Paris over the devastating Notre-Dame Cathedral fire, the British capital’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said Monday.

“Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames,” Khan tweeted. “London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always.”

12:05 am IST

‘Emotion of a whole nation’: French president

Macron tweeted “emotion of a whole nation” on seeing Notre-Dame ablaze. The French president cancelled speech to nation, and rushed to the fire scene.

12:03 am IST

No injures reported

No injured have been reported so far, authorities are still examining the cause of the fire, said junior interior minister Nunez.

11:59 pm IST

Spire of Notre Dame cathedral collapses

The spire of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris collapsed on Monday as a huge fire ravaged the roof of the famed gothic monument, deputy Paris mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told BFM TV, describing “colossal damage”.

11:52 pm IST

Must act quickly: Donald Trump

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!,” tweeted US president Donald Trump.

11:50 pm IST

Fire breaks out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames on Monday in a roaring blaze that devastated the Parisian landmark, one of France’s most visited places.

Flames burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and quickly engulfed the spire, which collapsed.