- Title: Building work restarts at Notre Dame cathedral after lead contamination fears
- Date: 19th August 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (AUGUST 19, 2019) (REUTERS) NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL WITH SCAFFOLDING AND CRANE SCAFFOLDING ON SIDE OF CATHEDRAL WORKERS WALKING OUT OF CONSTRUCTION HOIST CRANE MOVING PIECE OF SCAFFOLDING WORKERS IN PROTECTIVE GEAR WALKING ON CATHEDRAL ROOF CRANE MOVING PIECE OF SCAFFOLDING ABOVE CATHEDRAL ROOF CRANE MOVING PREFABRICATED OFFICE CABIN WORKERS ON CATHEDRAL ROOF NEAR SCAFFOLDING WORKERS LOOKING OVER CRANE BRINGING DOWN PIECE OF SCAFFOLDING SIDE OF CATHEDRAL WITH CRANE PREFABRICATED OFFICE CABIN BEING LIFTED BY CRANE WITH WORKERS AROUND SCAFFOLDING ON SIDE OF CATHEDRAL NEXT TO GARGOYLE METAL FENCES BLOCKING ACCESS TO NOTRE DAME RECONSTRUCTION SITE WOODEN SUPPORT STRUCTURE IN CATHEDRAL ARCH VARIOUS OF WARNING SIGNS DISPLAYING PROTECTIVE GEAR AND READING (French) "NO ACCESS TO CONSTRUCTION SITE / SITE UNDER VIDEO SURVEILLANCE" (SOUNDBITE) (English) 52-YEAR-OLD TOURIST FROM FLORIDA (U.S.A), GENE PLAYTER, SAYING: "Well, we're - we didn't realise it was all blocked off, number one. At least on this side you can see a little bit of the damage that was done. It's unfortunate that we can't see it (Notre Dame Cathedral), but we understand why. We were here a few years back and we were able to tour it then, so - but it's unfortunate." (SOUNDBITE) (English) 50-YEAR OLD CANADIAN TOURIST, CAROLYN WHITBURN, SAYING [WITH OLIVIA (8) AND JORDAN WHITBURN (11)]: "No, that was disappointing. We watched the footage on television when it was on fire and we were quite sad about that. I've been here before so I was able to see it before it burned." RAZOR WIRE ON TOP OF PERIMETER FENCE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL BELL TOWER TOURISTS WALKING BY PERIMETER FENCE CATHEDRAL WITH CRANE AND PERIMETER FENCE
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2019 14:57
- Keywords: Notre Dame Cathedral fire Paris building work lead
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Fires
- Reuters ID: LVA001ASVX1DZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Building work to secure the structure and prevent the collapse of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris resumed after the works were suspended over fears of lead contamination.
Cranes were seen moving pieces of scaffolding and prefabricated office cabins on the cathedral grounds, as builders were working on the cathedral's roof on Monday (August 19).
The French Ministry of Culture said consolidation work was "of extreme urgency" due to the risk of collapse in the cathedral. Fresh stones fell from the nave's vault during July's heatwave, where Paris saw temperatures reaching 42.6 degrees Celsius (108.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Unusually high levels of lead were later detected in the air and nearby buildings, including primary schools.
Restoration work on the cathedral was suspended on July 25 after unusually high lead levels were detected in a child. The mayor's office temporarily closed a nursery and primary school that were hosting a holiday club for a "deep clean" after high lead levels were detected.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture said that mobile decontamination units will now be used on the site, and that the building site will be more separate from the public. Workers will also receive more training on the risks of lead contamination and will receive regular medical analysis to check lead levels in their blood.
A large metal fence has been erected around the perimeter of the cathedral, preventing the public from approaching as close as they could in previous months.
The April 15 inferno melted hundreds of tonnes of lead in the cathedral's spire and roof. The cathedral's spire and roof, which collapsed in the fire, contained more than 450 tonnes of lead.
(Production: Noemie Olive, Kathryn Carlson)
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