Police official: Short-circuit most likely caused Notre Dame fire

18 Avril, 2019, 22:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Image AAP

French insurer Axa SA could be on the hook for potential payouts tied to the devastating fire that ripped through Notre-Dame Cathedral, but the government's ownership of the landmark means the insurance industry could be spared from significant losses tied to the blaze.

Almost 500 firefighters battled a massive fire at the 12th century Catholic cathedral in Paris for several hours Monday night.

A preliminary investigation of the scene on Tuesday found no immediate signs of arson, the city's public prosecutor said.

Fire responders also rescued numerous important relics and works of art inside the cathedral.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the damaged Cathedral within five years and has said it will be rebuilt "even more beautifully" than before. Donations towards the church's reconstruction have flowed in from the private sector too.

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The International Olympic Committee on Thursday pledged €500 000 (about R7.91 million) to help ensure Notre Dame is restored in time for the 2024 Paris Games.

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Among the firefighters honoured was Paris fire brigade chaplain Jean-Marc Fournier, who says he was falsely credited with helping salvage the crown of thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus at his crucifixion.

Mr Fournier told France Info on Thursday that his own team arrived on the heels of the salvaging and praised the action "to preserve this extraordinary relic, this patrimony of humanity". She had trained at the site for hours for just this moment. "It was from upstairs that you understood that it was really dramatic".

Bells at all of the churches and cathedrals across France rang out in unison on Wednesday night in honor of the Notre Dame Cathedral. "So yes, we will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more attractive, and I want it to be completed within five years". Almost $1 billion in donations from around the world has already been pledged to aid the restoration process.

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