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Capital Region students confirmed safe while visiting Paris

April 15, 2019 11:20 PM

Shenendehowa School District students and chaperones are currently in Paris as part of an exchange program. They toured Notre Dame Cathedral Monday, before it caught fire.

“We are so lucky that we got to see it today,” said Karen Bonventre, a teacher and the trip advisor.

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Bonventre said all the students are safe and accounted for. She said they ate lunch in front of the cathedral before the tour.

"We were actually sitting at the grounds and the cherry blossoms were rolling upon us, it was magical,” explained Bonventre. “The students were just walking through and I could see in their faces how much they enjoyed the beauty of the church."

Bonventre said they didn’t see Notre Dame Cathedral catch on fire, they were back with their host families when they got the news.

“Here with my host family it's so wrenching for them to see this happen to the most popular site in all of Paris,” said Bonventre. “They wanted to turn the TV off because they could not bear to see it burn.”

Here in the Capital Region, Tiffany Tournier and Leonore Brun-Cosme-Bruny are exchange students at Siena College. They too said it was difficult to watch the beautiful site burn.

“Someone told us like the cathedral’s on fire we were like what're you taking about there's no way,” said Leonore.

The two students said they were texting with friends and family back home. They said it was a sad day for everyone and are anxiously waiting to see what is next for Notre Dame.

“It's a landmark,” said Leonore. “We saw on the news everyone is just in the streets and watching what's happening and I don't know it doesn't feel real actually.”

The student’s hope what was damaged during the fire can be fixed, because they can’t imagine returning home and not having the cathedral there.

“That's shocking, Paris without Notre Dame,” said Tiffany.

Skidmore College said it has 18 students in Paris as part of their study abroad program. They said they are all safe.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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