Friday, 19 April, 2019

Fire Breaks Out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

A fire broke out at the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site the fire WATCH LIVE as Paris Legendary Notre Dame Cathedral Burns AFP 2019 FRANCOIS GUILLOT
Deanna Wagner | 15 April, 2019, 23:13

The historic 676-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most iconic buildings in the world and one of the most iconic Christian churches in the world, is on fire.

A centre of Roman Catholic faith, over the centuries Notre-Dame has also been a target of political upheaval.

Parts of the roof has collapsed and its spire has dramatically toppled over.

Paris police confirmed that a fire was underway and asked people to avoid the area and allow emergency personnel to access the scene. France's President Emmanuel Macron will be visiting the site later, according to a government spokesperson.

The Cathedral's website has a section on framing which says the wooden frame was built between 1160 and 1240. It is one of Europe's most well-known landmarks.

"Heartbreaking scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in flames", Khan tweeted. "London stands in sorrow with Paris today, and in friendship always". He described the incident as "colossal damage". He said that workers scrambled "to save all the artworks that can be saved". Witnesses said the whole island was being evacuated.

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Officials have not said what caused the fire, which broke out Monday afternoon.

US President Donald Trump has suggested "perhaps flying water tankers" to extinguish the fire. "Must act quickly!" he wrote. Reuters bureau chief in Paris, Luke Baker, published a video showing the massive blaze.

Notre Dame was the subject of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was made into a popular animated film by Disney in 1996.

A city hall spokesman said that the area was being cleared, while the fire department said a major operation was under way.

French media have said the fire has spread to the giant spire of the cathedral.