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Tuesday 16 July 2019

No evidence that Notre Dame blaze was criminal, prosecutors say

Paris investigators will now conduct a probe into ‘involuntary degradation by fire’ over the incident that devastated the landmark.

Tourists chat under a tree in front of Notre Dame Cathedral (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)
Tourists chat under a tree in front of Notre Dame Cathedral (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

There is no evidence from a preliminary investigation to suggest that a fire that destroyed large parts of Notre Dame Cathedral was criminal, the Paris prosecutor’s office has said.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that several hypotheses about the cause of the April 15 blaze include a malfunctioning electrical system or a smouldering cigarette.

The prosecutor’s office announced the opening of a new investigation for “involuntary degradation by fire through manifestly deliberate violation” of security rules or simple imprudence.

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The Seine river and Notre Dame cathedral (Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Three judges will head the probe.

The fire tore through the roof of the 13th-century cathedral, destroying the spire which toppled in flames and sections of the interior.

It has left the crippled monument, once a major tourist attraction, barricaded to the public.

PA Media

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