Nantes cathedral: the fire remains mysterious

All tracks, criminal and accidental, remain open in the investigation into the fire of the cathedral of Nantes. There has been no new police custody since the release, Sunday evening, of the diocese volunteer, put in the case.

The judicial police will sift through the CCTV images of businesses and the City. “The building’s closing conditions, the use of the keys, the movements … Everything is studied closely”, indicates Pierre Sennes, public prosecutor. There was no break-in, it is attested.

The accidental track also remains under consideration. Three fires spaced apart from each other were observed: one near the great organ, at the level of the electrical cabinet and the other two, to the right and to the left of the altar.

The foyer near the great organ remains inaccessible. “Security conditions are not guaranteed”, explains Pierre Sennes. Risk of landslides, heat elements still present … As soon as the platform is secure, Parisian experts will take new samples. Those made this weekend have been sent to the scientific police laboratory in Paris. It will take several weeks before these elements “speak”.

The expert of Notre-Dame awaited

“We are expecting an electrical expert from the Paris police headquarters laboratory this week, adds Pierre Sennes. He will examine the three points of fire and check the operation of the electrical installation. ” This forensic expert worked on the Notre-Dame de Paris fire in April 2019.

This is one of the tracks advanced from day one. “The fire could be linked to an electrical failure “ had said a source close to the investigation.

Possible? For this fire expert with the Rennes Court of Appeal, “Three fire starts on the same electrical circuit, it seems very unlikely”. This specialist in fire investigations, who did not see the scene, explains: “Let us imagine a current line going from point A to Y. If at point C, there is a heating, the cable melts and the current“ bursts ”. How at point O or Y, can it catch fire? “

Conviction shared by an electrical expert. This “sapper” as he is called – a technician who advises a forensic expert – also considers this track very hypothetical, “But not impossible”. “When you have a warm-up, it’s either an improperly tightened cable or a defective one. Now, from experience, the problem is generated in one place “, he concludes. In their careers, neither of them has ever experienced an electric fire set off in several places simultaneously.


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