Main structure of Notre Dame Cathedral saved from fire
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the worst had been avoided regarding the Notre Dame fire.
"The worst has been avoided but the battle has not yet been won," Macron said at the site of the fire. He added that the next few hours will be very difficult. "Thanks to the bravery of firefighters, the cathedral's two main bell towers have been saved," he noted.
Macron said the Notre Dame fire was "a terrible tragedy." "I want to thank firefighters who continue working on extinguishing the blaze. They have demonstrated great professionalism," the French president noted.
"I solemnly pledge that we will rebuild the cathedral together. We will launch an international fundraising campaign for the Notre Dame cathedral," Macron told reporters.
"Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicenter of our lives," the French president said.
"Let's be proud, because we built this cathedral more than 800 years ago, we've built it and, throughout centuries, let it grow and improved it," he added.
Paris fire chief Jean-Claude Gallet said that the main structure of the Notre Dame cathedral has been saved from the fire and preserved.
"We now consider that the main structure of Notre Dame has been saved and preserved. We now believe that the two towers of Notre Dame have been saved," Reuters cited Gallet as saying.
According to Reuters, one firefighter was seriously injured while working at the scene.
French Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez said earlier that the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral has been contained as it decreased in intensity. However, firefighters continue working on extinguishing the blaze completely.
The Russian Embassy in Paris said that the damage caused by the fire at the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral is an irreparable loss for humanity.
"Even without casualties, this is an irreparable loss for Paris, for France, and for humanity as a whole," the embassy wrote on its official Facebook page.
The fire at the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral has been extinguished, Le Figaro newspaper reported citing firefighters.
"The fire has been extinguished, and we continue to monitor remaining sources of fire and cool down the hot parts of the building. We will make sure the fire will not pick up again," the fire department said.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that most artworks and religious relics, including the Crown of Thorns, were removed from Notre Dame to the Paris Mayor Office. According to BFM, they would be transferred to the Louvre on Tuesday or Wednesday.
A fire broke out at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on Monday at around 7 pm local time. The top part of the spire and the clock of the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral have collapsed as a result of the fire. The fire is believed to have broken out because of the renovation works underway at the cathedral.
The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had launched an inquiry into the fire. Several police sources said they were working on the assumption for now that the fire was accidental.