United States President, Donald Trump has reacted to the massive fire outbreak at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday.
Reacting to the images and videos of flames from the historic cathedral while it circulated on the social media, Trump in a tweet suggested sending flying water tankers to drown out the flames.
He said “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!”
The president’s suggestion was however criticized by some, while they said deploying water tankers could damage the centuries-old structure even further.
Meanwhile, France’s civil security agency said in a tweet said that Parisian firefighters were doing “everything they can” to bring the fire under control, though the agency emphasized officials wouldn’t use water tankers to assist in their efforts in this particular incident.
“All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircraft which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral,” the group explained in a tweet, which was shared more than 7,000 times within two hours.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, shared his thoughts with the nation and Catholics as “Our Lady of Paris” continued to erupt in flames on Monday.
“Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn,” he wrote, in part, on Twitter.
Macron has already postponed a pre-recorded speech that was set to be aired later Monday on French TV. Macron was expected to lay out his plan to address the citizen complaints that gave rise to the yellow vest protests that have rocked France since November.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in a tweet described the incident as “heartbreaking”
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the fire a “terrible blaze” and extended her condolences to France.
“My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services that are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral,” she wrote.
It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, even though sources said it appears it was related to recent construction done at the cathedral.
Notre Dame was undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project, with some sections under scaffolding. More than a dozen religious statues were removed last week for cleaning as construction crews continued to work on the building.