Notre-Dame fire: Spire collapses as ‘terrible’ blaze breaks out at 12th century cathedral | World News

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Notre-Dame cathedral’s spire has collapsed in a “terrible” fire, forcing the French president to cancel a major speech.

Plumes of smoke poured from the historic landmark’s steeples, as flames spread out across the 12th century building.

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

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Notre-Dame cathedral is on fire. Pic: Twitter/ Shiv Malik

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo urged the public to “respect the security perimeter” around the cathedral while emergency services tackle the “terrible fire”.

French President Emmanuel Macron also confirmed he had scrapped a planned television speech to the nation.

He said in a message on Twitter: “I am so sad tonight to see this part of all of us burn.”

Footage from the scene shows the cathedral’s spire collapsing.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze.

The fire raging at the Parisian cathedral
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The 12th century cathedral draws millions of tourists every year

Local media reported that police were treating the incident as an accident.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid called the scenes “heartbreaking”.

Thick plumes of smoke were seen in the sky in Paris
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The fire broke out on Monday evening at around 6pm

The cathedral dates back to the 12th century and is famous for featuring in Victor Hugo’s classic novel the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

It attracts millions of tourists every year.

The Notre Dame cathedral is on fire. Pic: Twitter/trafalghar
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Smoke could be seen billowing from one of the steeples. Pic: Twitter/trafalghar

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

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