Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral
The Vatican has released the following statement in response to the Notre Dame fire:
UK Prime Minister Theresa May just tweeted about the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral:
The French civil security agency, Sécurité Civile, has responded to US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that “flying water tankers” should be used to fight the Notre Dame fire.
The agency tweeted, “The drop of water by air on this type of building could indeed result in the collapse of the entire structure.”
The civil security agency is part of the Interior Ministry.
Earlier today, Trump had said on Twitter, “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared his shock and sadness, calling the cathedral "a world treasure."
In a statement to the people of Paris, DiNardo said the cathedral has "long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God."
Read his full statement:
As evening falls in Paris, crowds are still gathered near Notre Dame as the historic cathedral burns.
A witness earlier in the day had described an eerie silence; now, the crowd has begun to sing hymns together, many on their knees.
Watch it here:
Thibaud Binétruy, who lives in Paris, just told CNN of what it was like when the spire fell:
The French Interior Ministry said 400 firefighters have been mobilized to deal with the Notre Dame blaze. The cathedral's iconic spire collapsed earlier this evening. The central spire was built in the 19th century amid a broad restoration effort, partly buoyed by the success of Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" in 1831.