French Official Says Notre Dame’s Structure Will Survive Fire

Ablaze: Notre Dame Catherdal in Paris engulfed in fire

Local officials said the fire could not be battled with helicopters because dropping water from the air could have caused the entire structure to collapse, endangering surrounding buildings.

"My prayers are for the French people, the Diocese of Paris, and everyone who will have to work hard to rebuild an worldwide treasure, eternal and powerful", Castellanos said.

Macron said a national fundraising campaign to restore Notre Dame would be launched Tuesday and he called on the world's "greatest talents" to help.

Faubert said that despite being devastated over what was lost, he is hopeful for the future.

He said just after 9pm: "There's a risk that the great bell falls".

The Notre Dame Cathedral, situated on an island in the Seine River in the heart of Paris, is one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, drawing some 13 million people each year.

The Paris prosecutors' office says investigators are treating the blaze that destroyed part of Notre Dame as an accident for now.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the building is "part of our collective history - literature, cultural and religious".

President Donald Trump, 72, suggested using "flying water tankers" to put out the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in a viral tweet on April 15, and it didn't take long for many of his followers to mock his words with various memes and other responses.

French Civil Security says the weight of water from an airdrop could have collapsed the site; reaction from Stacy Meichtry, Paris bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal.

The Vatican said: "The Holy See has seen with shock and sadness the news of the awful fire that has devastated the Cathedral of Notre Dame, symbol of Christianity in France and in the world".

Later in the day, she said she saw "massive billows of smoke, all different colours", and found out the basilica was burning. She also advised people to stay out of the area. "My prayers are with the people of Paris".

"I've never seen that before", he said.

"Everything is collapsing", a police officer near the scene said as the cathedral continued to burn. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said late Monday that the collection of artwork and holy objects kept inside the church had been recovered, though it was not clear if any items were damaged.

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