Notre-Dame cathedral on fire in Paris

A fire broke out at the landmark Notre Dame Cathedral in central Paris potentially involving renovation works being carried out at the site the fire

Firefighters are battling a massive blaze at the French capital's iconic Notre Dame cathedral.

The state of those works is unknown, but the BBC reported Paris firefighters are scrambling to remove as many pieces as they can.

French media quoted the Paris fire brigade saying the blaze is "potentially linked" to a 6 million euro (£5.1 million) renovation project on the church's spire and its 250 tons of lead.

Macron tweeted "emotion of a whole nation" on seeing Notre-Dame ablaze.

Update: The roof has collapsed. We are mobilized on the spot in close connection with the @dioceseParis. The cathedral was undergoing repairs, as its roof and spire were in scaffolding.

Ed Llewellyn, Britain's ambassador to France described the images of the burning Cathedral as "heartbreaking" adding, "All our thoughts with the heroic firefighters as they battle this bad blaze".

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The monument sees over 13 million visitors a year and is Paris's most visited attraction, beating the Eiffel Tower, according to the city's tourism report. "Must act quickly!" Trump wrote on Twitter. The cathedral is a worldwide Parisian icon and site of some of the most important moments in the history of France.

Nobody was injured, junior interior minister Laurent Nunez said at the scene, adding: "It's too early to determine the causes of the fire". The cathedral is a major tourist destination and visited by up to 50,000 people a day.

Notre Dame was the subject of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was made into a popular animated film by Disney in 1996. Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said firefighers were on the scene and she asked everyone to respect the security perimeter.

Its 100-metre-long (330-foot) roof, of which a large section was consumed in the first hour of the blaze, was one of the oldest such structures in Paris, according to the cathedral's website.

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