Notre-Dame workers on roof admit they flouted smoking ban
Workers mending the roof of Notre-Dame before it went up in flames last week have admitted flouting a smoking ban, amid claims of a string of safety lapses at Paris's Gothic cathedral.
After picking up seven cigarette butts following the fire, police questioned roof workers for the construction firm whose staff admitted to having violated strict no-smoking rules.
"Certain colleagues did flout the ban every now and again and we regret it," said Marc Eskenazi, a spokesman for Le Bras Freres, adding that workers lit up on the roof because "it was a bit tricky to get down".
However, Mr Eskenazi insisted: "In no way did a poorly extinguished cigarette butt start the fire."
Prosecutors suggested a short-circuit in a lift could have started the fire, but newspaper reports have suggested a more likely scenario was a short circuit in electric cables in the spire, which were turned on in 2012 to ring temporary bells.