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Heartbreaking footage has captured the moment the spire of the Notre Dame cathedral collapsed.
A large blaze broke out at the historic building in Paris, France, earlier on Monday evening, and despite the efforts of fire crews, the fire has spread across large swathes of the famous building.
Andre Finot, a spokeperson for Notre Dame, told French media (via AP): "Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame."
It is not yet known how the fire began, although officials have been suggested it could be linked to renovation work. It is also unclear whether there have been any casualties.
The cathedral is 850 years old, and last year the Catholic Church launched an urgent appeal for funds to repair the building, which was showing serious signs of decay. The construction of Notre Dame - which means 'Our Lady' - began in 1160 and was mostly completed a hundred years later in 1260. It has been modified on numerous occasions throughout the centuries since.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, has cancelled a planned public address. In a tweet, he reflected the current mood of the nation.
He said: "Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I'm sad tonight to see this part of us burn."
Notre-Dame de Paris en proie aux flammes. Émotion de toute une nation. Pensée pour tous les catholiques et pour tous les Français. Comme tous nos compatriotes, je suis triste ce soir de voir brûler cette part de nous.
- Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 15, 2019
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, described the fire as 'terrible' and has urged people to stay away from the blaze.
She said: "A terrible fire is underway at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The @PompiersParis are trying to control the flames. We are mobilised on the spot in close connection with the @dioceseParis. I ask everyone to respect the security perimeter."
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