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Island leaders send condolences to France

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A JOINT letter signed by Jersey and Guernsey’s chief ministers expressing the islands’ condolences to the people of France following the major fire that destroyed large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral has been sent to the French ambassador to the UK.

An aerial shot of the fire damage to Notre Dame cathedral. Picture: GIGARAMA.RU VIA AP

The letter, addressed to Jean-Pierre Jouyet and written in French, passed on the islands’ ‘very sincere condolences’. A fire broke out at the popular tourist site on Monday evening causing extensive damage. The cathedral’s spire, one of the tallest points in the city, collapsed.

Investigators believe an electrical short-circuit was the most likely cause of the fire, according to a French judicial police official.

Renovation work was being carried out on the building, which was built between 1163 and 1345.

The probe into how the fire started continued this week, while on Thursday France held a day-long tribute to the Paris firefighters who saved the cathedral from collapsing and rescued its treasures.

The letter from Jersey Chief Minister John Le Fondré and Guernsey’s Deputy Gavin St Pier says: ‘We do not need to be Christian or Catholic to be deeply touched by this terrible tragedy. France was hit in the middle of the day and watching these images of disaster on television shocked us all.’

It adds: ‘We also wish to salute the courage and the tenacity of the firemen who intervened at the place of the drama, risking their lives. Without their devotion, the cathedral would surely have been completely destroyed under these devastating flames.’

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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