Massive fire sweeps through Paris' iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral
Footages available on social media captured the moments, flames burst through the roof of the cathedral and quickly engulfed the spire, which collapsed as fire fighting efforts are underway.
A spokesman for the cathedral told AFP that the wooden structure supporting the roof was being gutted by the blaze; the fire service said the blaze could be "potentially linked" to ongoing renovations.
A spokesperson for the cathedral said the fire, which comes as French Catholics prepare to celebrate Easter, broke out at around 1650 GMT. Fire trucks could be seen speeding through Paris towards the scene on the Ile de la Cite -- an island in the Seine at the heart of Paris.
Firefighters fear it may be impossible to save Notre-Dame Cathedral, said French Interior Ministry official.
- Roof, the spire of cathedral have collapsed
- Around 400 firefighters deployed on site
- 1 of 2 towers also caught fire
- Prosecutors open probe into the cause
- Officials working to save artifacts inside
The moment when the spire of #NotreDame fell. The burning of the approximately 700 year-old cathedral is bewildering & horrifying. From the Sikh community in France & all over the world, love to our Christian & French sisters & brothers today 🙏🏻🇫🇷https://t.co/tWLIDFFjM6— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) April 15, 2019
President Emmanuel Macron canceled an address to the nation in the backdrop of the incident. A presidential official said Macron was to go to the scene of the blaze.
The president also posted his statement on Twitter branding the cathedral as 'Lady of Paris'.
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
'Our lady fo Paris is in flames. Emotion for the whole nation. A thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn,' Macron said.
The fire at Notre Dame caught the attention of world leaders as well including POTUS Donald Trump, who took to Twitter and called for a quick action and suggested flying water tankers to be put into action.
"That is beyond countries, that's beyond anything. That's a part of our growing up, it's a part of culture. It's a part of our lives," the president said.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump calls Notre Dame fire "a terrible sight to behold."— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2019
"That is beyond countries, that's beyond anything. That's a part of our growing up, it's a part of culture. It's a part of our lives." https://t.co/kiOQsrFHuI pic.twitter.com/NGff2cPeQ7
My thoughts are with the people of France tonight and with the emergency services who are fighting the terrible blaze at Notre-Dame cathedral.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) April 15, 2019
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said his city stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always.
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