FIREFIGHTING experts have blasted Donald Trump after he advised air dropping water on the burning Notre Dame cathedral — because it would have made the stricken building collapse.
The US President was one of the first world leaders to respond as the drama unfolded and suggested using aerial water tankers that are usually used to battle forest fires.
Twitter6 Trump's tweet was roundly criticised
Getty – Contributor6 The President's advise was not taken on board
Trump tweeted: "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!"
But it turned out that doing this may well have caused more damage to the ancient structure which appears to have survived against the odds.
After Trump's tweet French civic security services wrote back in English, saying: “Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control.
“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.”
It also tweeted, in English, that: "Helicopter or airplane, the weight of the water and the intensity of the drop at low altitude could indeed weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and cause collateral damage to the surrounding buildings.”
Hundreds of firemen of the Paris Fire Brigade are doing everything they can to bring the terrible #NotreDame fire under control. All means are being used, except for water-bombing aircrafts which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.
— Sécurité Civile Fr (@SecCivileFrance) April 15, 2019
Other commentators were also quick to point out the perils of such a tactic.
French news site Le Monde explained: “A Canadair projects about six tonnes of water at high speed to the ground: the danger is significant of hurting one or more people around the building – which is why Canadair interventions are so infrequent in urban and peri-urban areas.
“Such an intervention could also significantly destroy the little remaining structure of the cathedral."
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The folly of Trump’s firefighting advice was widely criticised on social media.
Star Trek actor George Takei posted: "Literally no one asked you" to the US President.
In the end firefighters were able to save the building from complete destruction.
The fire was completely out by Tuesday morning.
EPA6 Like millions around the world, the President was shocked by the disaster unfolding in front of him on TV and decided to tweet
Getty – Contributor6 The blaze started at about 5.30pm local time this evening
The Mega Agency6 The sheer magnitude of the fire can be seen in this image
Reuters6 But firefighters now believe they have saved the main structure of the 850 year old building from total destruction
Notre Dame cathedral fire – Spire collapses as flames engulf building sending plumes of smoke billowing into the air in Paris