Cigarette, electric fault among possible causes of Notre-Dame fire: Prosecutors

Cigarette, electric fault among possible causes of Notre-Dame fire: Prosecutors

Firefighters try to douse the flames billowing the roof of Notre-Dame
Firefighters try to douse the flames billowing the roof of Notre-Dame, a monument much loved, yet on occasion neglected, according to a top French historian. (AFP/FRANCOIS GUILLOT)

PARIS: French authorities have no grounds to believe that the fire which wrecked Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral in April was the result of criminal action, although they were probing the possibility of negligence, said the Paris prosecutor's office on Wednesday (Jun 26).

French investigators were examining many hypotheses "including a malfunctioning of the electrical system or a fire which started with a badly stubbed-out cigarette", said a statement, indicating there was no evidence to back up any theory of "a criminal origin" to the fire.

Details of fire damage at Notre Dame Cathedral, with photos
Details of fire damage at Notre Dame Cathedral, with photos. (AFP/Thomas SAINT-CRICQ)

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"If certain failings, which may explain the scale of the fire, have been brought to light, the investigations carried out to this date have not yet been able to determine the causes of the fire," said a statement from Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz.

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A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on the evening of April 15, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control.

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Source: Reuters/AFP/aj

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