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Pope thanks Notre-Dame firefighters on behalf of whole Church

AFP  |  Vatican City 

on Wednesday thanked the firefighters who risked their lives to save the in on behalf of the entire

"The gratitude of the whole Church goes to all those who did everything they could, even risking their lives, to save the Basilica," he said during the weekly general audience in

said he had been "very saddened" by the vast blaze on Monday which gutted the great landmark, destroying the roof, causing the steeple to collapse and leaving reeling in shock.

A firefighter suffered injuries during the blaze, which at one point threatened to bring down one of the two monumental bell towers on the western facade of the cathedral that is visited by 13 million tourists each year.

The Holy Crown of Thorns, believed to have been worn by at his crucifixion, was saved by firefighters, as was a sacred tunic worn by 13th-century French Louis IX.

Rescuers formed a at the site of the disaster to evacuate as many artefacts as possible.

The bells of all cathedrals in will sound at 6:50 pm (1650 GMT) on Wednesday, 48 hours after the fire started.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 14:15 IST