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Notre Dame blaze shocks France, Macron ditches speech

French president had been due to address nation on measures prompted by Yellow Jacket protests.
A massive fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral shocked France on Monday evening and prompted President Emmanuel Macron to postpone a major speech and rush to the scene.
Notre Dame blaze shocks France, Macron ditches speech
AVA- Macron had been due to give a televised address to outline measures he plans to take following nationwide public debates held in response to the Yellow Jacket protest movement. Instead, he traveled to the cathedral to inspect the blaze and the efforts of firefighters to bring it under control.
On Twitter, Macron said the fire, which broke out at around 5:50 p.m., had touched the emotions of the nation. "My thoughts are with all Catholics and all French people. Like all of our compatriots, I am sad this evening to see this part of us burning." He left the scene without making further statements.
The large fire at the iconic, 850-year-old cathedral is "potentially linked" to renovation works, France Info reported, citing firefighters.
No deaths or injuries were initially reported. A spokesperson for the fire service said that saving the cathedral was not a given.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: "So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he is following the fire "minute by minute."
"Notre-Dame de Paris belongs to all humanity," he said. "What a sad spectacle. What horror. I share the emotion of the French nation, which is also our own."
European Council President Donald Tusk said the cathedral was "Notre-Dame of all Europe. We are all with Paris today."
Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini described the fire as "terrifying."
"Thoughts and a hug to the people of Paris. From Italy, all our solidarity and all the help we can give," he tweeted.
The German government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said: "It hurts to see these horrible pictures of the burning Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a symbol of France and our European culture. We are with our French friends in our thoughts."
British Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with "the people of France and with the emergency services."
The archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, tweeted a message to "all the priests of Paris." He said "Let us pray. If you wish, you can ring the bells of your churches to invite prayer." Many churches did just that.
 
Tuesday 16 April 2019 02:06
Story Code: 183395 Copy text available
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