More than 50 investigators are looking into how the Notre Dame Cathedral fire was started and whether there was criminal intent.
Law enforcement officials initially jumped out and claimed the devastating flames were the result of an accident and had no links to criminal or terrorist activity.
USA Today reports: “The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials say it probably began as an accident during restoration work. The cathedral was in the midst of a $6.8 million renovation project. Arson was ruled out as well as possible terror-related motives, officials said.”
The Associated Press similarly reports that “there’s no evidence of arson in the Notre Dame fire.”
While the cause of the fire is believed to be an accident, caused by those working on renovations of the cathedral, a more thorough investigation will be “long and complex,” Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said via the report.
The Associated Press adds:
Speaking Tuesday, after the blaze was put out, he said 50 investigators are working on the probe. He says they will be interviewing workers from five companies that had been hired to work on renovations to the cathedral’s roof, which was being repaired before the fire and which is where the flames first broke out.
Here’s even more:
A representative of one of the five companies which had been hired to work on renovations to the Notre Dame cathedral’s roof says “we want more than anyone for light to be shed on the origin of this drama.”
Julien le Bras’ company has 12 workers involved in the refurbishment, though none were on site at the time of the fire.
Le Bras insisted that “all the security measures were respected,” and “workers are participating in the investigation with no hesitation.”
Various officials have suggested the fire could have been linked to the renovation work.
Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said the investigation is in its early stages and is focusing on hearings while the site is being secured.
ABC News reports French President Emanuel Macron described the fire as a “terrible tragedy.” He lamented over the lost history and promised Parisians that he would rebuild the cathedral.
“So I say this very solemnly to you tonight: We will rebuild this cathedral together and it is undoubtedly part of the French destiny and a project for the years to come,” the French president. “But I am committed to it.”
He continued: “Starting tomorrow, a national fundraiser will be launched and well beyond our border we will appeal to the greatest talents and many people will come to contribute to it. And we will rebuild.”