As Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, burned in a horrifying fire that reportedly brought down the iconic spire atop the eight-century-old structure, Donald Trump checked in on Twitter with his own solution to the calamity — “flying water tankers.”
“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Trump wrote. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
The cathedral is filled with irreplaceable historical artifacts and documents, as the Notre Dame Cathedral online site notes, including “drawings, plans and engravings which showed the old and hidden mysteries of several of the church developments and how the city of Paris came into being.” The cathedral also houses a number of France’s greatest artistic masterworks.
As Crooked Media editor, Brian Beutler noted on his own Twitter account, dropping “hundreds of tons of water” on the building would make the destruction of the priceless artifacts inside Notre Dame even more certain than the fire alone.
News of the raging fire at the landmark cathedral broke on social media early Monday afternoon United States Eastern Time (the time in Paris, Central European Daylight Time is six hours later). According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the fire broke out at 6:50 p.m. local time in Paris.
According to Reuters Paris Bureau Chief Luke Baker on Twitter, French media reported that the fire started by accident “and is related to ongoing work.”
"An absolutely sickening sight."
Sky's @DominicWaghorn is in Paris where the Notre Dame cathedral is on fire. He says he can see flames "flying 20m into the sky".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 15, 2019
Twitter users reacted with disbelief to Trump’s suggestion that “flying water tankers” be used to put out the fire, and to Trump’s admonition that French firefighters “must act quickly.”
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is in flames and Trump suggests they "act fast."What does he think they are doing there?!? I truly believe this guy is the most demented person I've every seen.
— Randall Knight (@exit2mm) April 15, 2019
As one Twitter user noted, “flying water tankers” do not serve the function that Trump seemed to think that they serve.
You never think or do any research before tweeting. Airplane tankers do NOT put out fires. They are used for wildfires to MAINTAIN them. Besides if you were to dump enough water to put out this fire onto the Notre Dame Cathedral, it would collapse by the shear weight of the water
— PACKERS ???? STAR WARS ???? GUY (@TimRLarson) April 15, 2019
Or as another Twitter user put it, “Yeah lets (sic) drop 8000 lbs of water on top of an old wooden roof.”
While yet another Twitter user sarcastically thanked Trump for reminding French firefighters to “act quickly.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 15, 2019
Without Trump’s admonition, Twitter user Jeff Friedrich noted, French fireman would have certainly “lollygagged” their way to the blaze while smoking cigarettes and munching on baguettes.
According to a New York Times report, Note Dame spokesperson André Finot confirmed that the fire started inside the cathedral’s historic spire.
HuffPost France reported that the fire was somehow related to the ongoing, $6.8 million renovation project underway in the historic cathedral.
Notre Dame has gone through several periods of disrepair and restoration over the past 800 years, according to USA Today, the first taking place between 1845 and 1870 after the building had been used as a storage warehouse during the French Revolution.