Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral in flames
The cathedral was undergoing renovation work, which local media cited as one potential cause for the fire.
What we know so far:
- The spire collapsed roughly half an hour after the fire began, with part of the roof soon following.
- Authorities said the fire spread to one of the cathedral’s two towers.
- Emergency services are still working to contain the fire.
- President Emmanuel Macron canceled a major speech and said he was sad “to see this part of us burning.”
- An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.
- Police evacuated the Ile de la Cite island in central Paris, where the church is situated.
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‘Notre Dame will rise again’
French and world leaders responded with shock and dismay.
“Our Lady of Paris is in flames,” Macron said on Twitter in response to the fire at Notre Dame. “A whole nation is emotional. My thoughts are with all Catholics and all in France. Like all our compatriots, I’m sad this evening to see this part of us burning.”
European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted, in French, that “Our Lady of Paris is Our Lady of all Europe.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “Tonight all Parisians and French people will mourn this symbol of our common history.”
US President Donald Trump said on Twitter: “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!”