The massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris did not escape a timely Trump formula on innovative fire-fighting. But the grand idea did not take off on grounds of risk.

A concerned President Donald Trump took to Twitter and urged France to use “flying water tankers” to douse the fire.

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” the president wrote. “Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

France owns a fleet of six air tankers with a capacity of 2,600 gallons of water in each.

However, the presidential suggestion of pumping water on the old building from aircraft was not accepted. The civil defense agency of France noted that pumping heavy volumes of water by air on the heritage building could collapse the entire structure.

“Helicopter or airplane, the weight of the water and the intensity of the drop at low altitude could indeed weaken the structure of Notre-Dame and result in collateral damage to the buildings in the vicinity,” the agency said.

Risk of air-water tankers

Later the agency clarified the matter in an English-language tweet that “all means are being used” to bring the fire under control — “except for water-bombing aircraft which, if used, could lead to the collapse of the entire structure of the cathedral.”

Several American experts also found Trump’s suggestion risky and impractical.  

“If you hit that with tons of water from above, that’s going to collapse the entire structure and make the situation worse,” said Wayne McPartland, a former chief of the New York City Fire Department.

He noted that the additional risk is that if the main target is missed it might also hit the civilians on the street.

Structure saved

After intense fire fighting, the main structure and two towers have been saved, according to the Paris fire brigade chief.

But the cathedral’s roof and spectacular Gothic spire collapsed. French president Emmanuel  Macron expressed relief that the worst was over but warned that it may take days to get the fire under full control.

The 850-year-old UNESCO world heritage landmark went up in flames on Monday afternoon.

What caused the fire at the 12th-century cathedral is still unknown. An average of 13 million visitors reaches the monument annually. The renovation was on when the monument caught fire on Monday.   Trump Impeachment .S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the press while departing the White House December 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump advised France to use “flying water tankers” to douse the fire Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. But that idea was not used considering the risk of structural collapse. Photo: Getty Images/Olivier Douliery-Pool/

Notre Dame Cathedral has braved many calamities. Over the centuries, it faced many attacks and survived. They include 16th-century vandals, Commune uprising and two world wars.

First commissioned by King Louis VII, the cathedral was a symbol of Paris's cultural supremacy.

Notre Dame includes a choir and apse. But the collapsed central spire was not there until the 19th century.

It took almost 200 years to build Notre Dame cathedral and the work was completed in 1345. But many wonder what will remain of Notre Dame and the invaluable works of art after the fires cool down.

Meanwhile, French billionaire François-Henri Pinault heading the luxury group Kering offered 100 million euros for the reconstruction efforts of the classic cathedral.