BREAKING NEWS: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire, live stream
Authorities have not yet released the cause of the fire
or any further information as to how the fight to suppress the flames has progressed.
The fire may potentially involve renovation works being carried out at the site,
the fire service said.
Firefighters in Paris are battling to put out a colossal beam that has engulfed the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, a centuries-old building in the heart of the French capital.
Footage showed flames coming out of the Gothic cathedral early on Monday evening, with smoke billowing from the roof as stunned Parisians and tourists watched on in funk.
The structure’s soaring spire later deteriorated in flames. A church spokesman said the entire woody interior of the 12th-century landmark was burning and likely to be destroyed.
The fire also deployment to one of the iconic rectangular towers.
France‘s civil security agency said “all means” except for water-dropping aircraft were deployed to put out the flames.
The defence agency said those were unsuitable for fires like the one at Notre Dame because dumping water on the building could cause the whole structure to ill luck.
“A terrible fire is under way at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said earlier on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who cancelled a national address due to the fire, reached the
landmark on Monday evening and went straight into meetings at the nearby Paris police headquarters.
“Notre-Dame de Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French.
Like all our compatriots, I am sad tonight to see this part of us burn,” Macron said earlier on Twitter.
Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris, said she saw tears streaming down the face of some onlookers.