The French justice dismissed on Wednesday that the fire of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris last April had criminal origin, in the closing of the preliminary investigation carried out by the Prosecutor's Office. The possibility that the fire was due to a failure in the electrical system or that it was initiated as a result of a badly extinguished cigarette are two of the hypotheses studied, but for the moment none can be privileged.
The Prosecutor's Office of the Court of Large Instance of Paris said in a statement that although the investigations have revealed "certain failures", these have not allowed to determine the causes of the fire on 15 April. The investigators carried out a hundred interrogations of witnesses and made "numerous findings" and "deeper investigations" will be carried out from now on, the note added.
These new investigations will be carried out within the framework of the open judicial investigation for "involuntary degradation in a fire for manifestly deliberate violation of the prudential or security obligations imposed by law or regulation". The investigation is in the hands of three investigating judges and is open against "X", a formula that in French law designates an alleged culprit whose identity is unknown.
The weekly 'Le Canard Enchaîné' revealed in April that the French police found seven cigarette butts on the restoration scaffolding where the fire that devastated part of the roof of the cathedral arose. Some workers who worked in the restoration of the temple needle recognized the investigators who, in breach of the security slogans, smoked on the scaffolding.
The weekly also reported irregularities in the electrical installation, specifically, in the laying to feed a set of bells that was in the needle and another under it, and that ran through the wooden beams of the cathedral.
The French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, said in mid-June that Notre Dame is still in a fragile situation, especially in the vault that has not yet been secured and could collapse.