Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris goes up in flames

Monday - 15/04/2019 15:05
Notre-Dame is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, drawing about 13 million visitors a year.CreditFrancois Guillot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Notre-Dame is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, drawing about 13 million visitors a year.CreditFrancois Guillot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral has been engulfed in flames with the building’s iconic spire collapsing, as firefighters rushed to save the famed landmark.

Notre-Dame Cathedral has gone up in flames in a massive blaze that has devastated the Parisian landmark, one of France’s most visited places.

Flames burst through the roof of the centuries-old cathedral and quickly engulfed the spire, which collapsed.

A church spokesman told French media that all of Notre-Dame Cathedral’s frame is burning after the spire collapsed.
 

Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. Picture: AFP
Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

Flames burn the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Picture: AFP
Flames burn the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

Flames rip through Notre-Dame in Paris. Picture: AFP
Flames rip through Notre-Dame in Paris. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

A huge plume of smoke wafted across the city and ash fell over a large area. “Everything is collapsing,” a police officer near the scene said as the entire roof of the cathedral continued to burn. Firefighters cleared the area around the cathedral, which marks the very centre of Paris. Buildings around it were evacuated.

President Emmanuel Macron cancelled an address to the nation that he had been due to give later on Monday evening. A presidential official said Mr Macron was to go to the scene of the blaze.
 

The Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames. Picture: AFP
The Notre-Dame Cathedral went up in flames. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

 
The iconic spire collapses. Picture: AFP
The iconic spire collapses. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

 
Shocked bystanders look on. Picture: AFP
Shocked bystanders look on. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

“A terrible fire is under way at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.

“The Paris fire service is trying to control the flames,” she wrote, asking residents to respect the security cordon thrown up around the site.
 

Paris’ landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral erupted into flames on Monday. Picture: AFP
Paris’ landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral erupted into flames on Monday. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

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 4.50pm (12.50am AEST).
 

 

Join us in praying for the people of Paris today, as the notorious Notre-Dame Cathedral burns out of control. https://t.co/Q7iGQqTCPa pic.twitter.com/oDrXR1yimF

— Nashville First (@fbcnashville) April 15, 2019


 

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.

The Paris police department in a tweet called on residents to avoid the area and to “make way for rescue vehicles”.
 

Flames rip through Notre-Dame in Paris. Picture: AFP
Flames rip through Notre-Dame in Paris. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

US President Donald Trump in a tweet said: “So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”
 

A worker walks in the restoration site on an ancient and damaged part of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Picture: AFP
A worker walks in the restoration site on an ancient and damaged part of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

Hundreds of people gathered on the bridges of Paris downriver to witness the scene, some filming the images with their smartphones, an AFP reporter said.

A burning smell filled the air.
 

Notre-Dame pictured before a fire ripped through the building. Picture: AFP
Notre-Dame pictured before a fire ripped through the building. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

France 2 television reported that police were treating the incident as an accident.

The cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, features in Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. It attracts millions of tourists every year.

It has been world heritage-listed since 1991.

Notre-Dame was in the midst of renovations, with some sections under scaffolding and bronze statues were removed last week for works.

More to come


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