The famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is on fire

NEWS 15.04.2019 19:43
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Source: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire on Monday, police said.

“Notre Dame Fire in progress,” police said on Twitter. “Avoid the area and facilitate the passage of emergency vehicles and intervention of the @prefpolice.”

Images and video showed flames and thick plumes of smoke billowing near its spire, which is surrounded by scaffolding. Video showed the flaming spire lean to one side and then collapse amid the smoke.

The fire rapidly spread and took over the iconic cathedral as onlookers scrambled to get a view of the destruction, even as soot and cinder fell onto them. Firefighters atop cherry picker cranes sprayed water onto the church in an attempt to calm the flames.

Seven or eight firetrucks were trying to tackle the flames and the smell of smoke emanated through the air. The firetrucks were having difficulty getting to the scene amid the daily afternoon rush hour. Police said on Twitter the public should avoid the area and allow emergency vehicles into the scene.

Source : REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said exceptional measures are being taken to try to save Notre Dame Cathedral.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says the fire brigade is trying to control a “terrible fire” that’s broken out at Notre Dame Cathedral.

On Twitter, Hidalgo said: “A terrible fire is underway at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The fire brigade are trying to control the fire. We are mobilized locally in close connection with church authorities. I ask everyone to respect the security perimeter.”

The medieval cathedral was completed in the 13th century and today, with its towers, spire, flying buttresses and stained glass, is considered a feat of architecture as much as a religious symbol.

Source : REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Located in Île de la Cité, a small island in the middle of the city, the cathedral is one of Paris’ most popular attractions, drawing an estimated 13 million visitors a year.

The fire comes just days before the Easter Sunday and the end of Lent.

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