Staff cuts left Notre-Dame with only one watchman on duty when fire broke out, report says 


Guards employed by the Elytis company had repeatedly warned management that staffing was inadequate for an emergency, and that the fire prevention system sometimes malfunctioned, according to the paper.

Neither Elytis not the culture ministry were immediately available to comment. Elytis has previously denied any error in locating the fire.

A former company employee told Le Canard Enchaîné: “Before, when there were two people in the fire safety unit, each one carried out inspection rounds in turn, so they could familiarise themselves with the site.”

Security reports seen by the paper appear to show that staff of Elytis had often alerted management to the potential danger. In an “incident report” from 2015, one employee expressed concern: “If I’m in the toilet or on a break, how can I know if the fire safety system goes off?”

The newspaper suggested that firefighters should have been stationed permanently at Notre-Dame, which is Europe’s most popular monument and attracts 13 million visitors each year. Firefighters are on site at the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre and Orsay museums in Paris.


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