Karin Vanheusden, journalist at the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper, currently resides in Paris on vacation. She experienced from the front row how the Notre Dame Monday night in flames. ‘Here is really a strange atmosphere. There are even crying people, looking on to the sea of flames.’
‘We were to eat less than a kilometer from Notre-Dame cathedral when the news flash, suddenly on a big screen to see’, says Karin Vanheusden from Paris. “Even the cook came out …
‘We were to eat less than a kilometer from Notre-Dame cathedral when the news flash, suddenly on a big screen to see’, says Karin Vanheusden from Paris. “Even the cook came out from his kitchen to see what was going on. It was not long before everyone went outside, to see what’s actually exactly was going on.’
‘At that time was the fire about fifteen minutes to the rage. The people around me were really in shock. They watched as a fire slowly but surely, the spire collapsed. I don’t understand why, but we actually see very little bluswerkzaamheden. There circling helicopters above the Notre-Dame cathedral, but from where we stand we can see only one fire hose to extinguish the fire. Just for 21 hours, was a hoogtewerker that began to extinguish the fire, since then the bluswerkzaamheden in acceleration.’
Drumming along the river banks
‘The cathedral is currently being renovated to the rear part. There are the propositions now just melting.’ The Paris fire brigade evacuated after 20 hours the entire Île de la Cité. Karin tells how the tourists and residents of Paris on the bridges and along the banks of the Seine are to play drums to see how their beloved Notre-Dame by the flames engulfed.
“I stand here between all Parisians who reports to the flames’, sounds. “The atmosphere here is really subdued, everyone looks silent.” Also, while the evening slowly falls over Paris, the people flock to the fire to look. ‘Just now tried an ambulance located by the mass to squeeze. Perhaps there is in the mass of people in front of us someone is unwell.’
“It is really a strange feeling to be standing here,” says Karin. “But it is not my first experience with a major disaster. Last summer, we drove over the viaduct in Genoa, two weeks before that collapsed. When we already had a feeling that it is very close, but now we are here, figuratively, on the first row. We were normally going to tomorrow, the Notre-Dame to visit.’