Fire breaks out at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

Sergio Conner
April 15, 2019

Notre Dame is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Paris, drawing an estimated 12 million people each year, according to Paris Digest.

According to AFP news agency, the fire was noticed at about 6:50pm local time (14:50 GMT). Videos show that the building's spire has fallen and the roof has collapsed.

Sights of the flames stopped passers-by in their tracks along the Seine River that passes beneath the cathedral.

As for the cause of the fire, speculation blames the renovations work.

The cathedral, which was built in 1160, is engulfed in flames and firefighters are struggling to contain the massive fire.

"There is no part of the building untouched by the irreparable loss of sculptural and decorative elements, let alone the alarming deterioration of structural elements", said the foundation. "Please respect the security perimeter". It is one of Europe's most well-known landmarks. Twitter users are also documenting the scene. Hard to see how [to] tackle this.

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The iconic Paris landmark Notre Dame cathedral caught on fire on Monday. I've never seen a fire in real life but the flames keep getting bigger and bigger. We are mobilized locally in close connection with church authorities.

Meanwhile, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called it a "terrible fire".

Macron tweeted "emotion of a whole nation" on seeing Notre-Dame ablaze.

The president said his thoughts were with all Catholics and all French people. He has reportedly canceled a speech tonight and is on his way to the scene.

US President Donald Trump tweeted his support, suggesting "flying water tankers" might be used in the fight to battle the flames.

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