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Notre Dame Cathedral fire: Akufo-Addo comiserates with France

BY: graphic.com.gh
President Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo on behalf of the Ghanaian people has extended his condolences to President Emmanuel Macron and the French people following a devastating fire that partially destroyed the Notre-Dame cathedral.

The fire, declared fully extinguished some 15 hours after it began, ravaged the 850-year-old building's roof and caused its spire to collapse.

But firefighters who worked through the night managed to save the Paris landmark's main stone structure, including its two towers.

The cause of the fire is not yet clear.

President Akufo-Addo in a post on micro-blog Twitter described the Parisian cathedral as one of the most iconic buildings of world civilization.

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He posted: "The Ghanaian people and I are shocked by the news of the destruction of the great Parisian Cathedral, Notre Dame, one of the most iconic buildings of world civilization and extend our heartfelt condolences to President @EmmanuelMacron and to the French people on their great loss.

"Our thoughts are with them, and we are hopeful and prayerful that efforts to save what is left of this historic Cathedral will be successful. @EmmanuelMacron".

Meanwhile, thoughts are turning to how the Catholic cathedral will be rebuilt.

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to reconstruct the historic building even as the fire still burned, while two French business magnates had pledged about €300m ($339m; £259m) between them by early Tuesday.

Offers of help with the reconstruction have also poured in from around the globe, with European Council President Donald Tusk calling on EU member states to rally round.

What happened?

The fire began at around 18:30 (16:30 GMT) and quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying the wooden interior before toppling the spire.

Fears grew that the cathedral's famous towers would also be destroyed.

But while a number of fires did begin in the towers, French Interior Minister Laurent Nuñez said they were successfully stopped before they could spread.

By the early hours of Tuesday, the fire was declared under control, with the Paris fire service saying it was fully extinguished by 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT).

A firefighter was slightly injured while tackling the blaze, Commander Jean-Claude Gallet told BFM TV.