Hundreds of firefighters tackled the historic blaze through the night, battling to stop it wreaking complete destruction of the treasured facade after flames torched the roof, sending its spire crashing to the ground before crowds of horrified Parisians.
Meanwhile, teams raced to recover what treasures they could from the 850-year-old Gothic masterpiece, which housed priceless artefacts and relics of huge religious and international significance.
The blaze, which broke out as the last crowds of tourists ended visits at around 6pm BST (7pm local time), was finally declared to be “completely under control” nearly nine hours later.
However, it is expected to take several days to completely extinguish all remaining pockets of fire, dampen down hotspots and secure the world-famous edifice.
Attention is beginning to turn to what may have caused the landmark, part of which was being restored, to fall victim to such a disaster.
— Patrick Galey (@patrickgaley) April 15, 2019
The Paris prosecutors’ office said police will carry out an investigation into “involuntary destruction caused by fire”, indicating authorities are treating the blaze as a tragic accident for now.
Arson, including possible terror-related motives, was earlier ruled out.
Visiting the scene on Monday night, French president Emmanuel Macron…
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