Apr 16, 2019 07:58 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Oct 31, 2020 08:53 Asia/Tehran]

Thousands of Parisians watched in horror from behind police cordons as a blaze devastated the historic Notre Dame Cathedral, destroying its spire and a large part of the roof.

Iran Press/Europe: Firefighters battled to contain the fire, which began at around 6 pm local time on Monday. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutor’s office, but police said it began accidentally and may be linked to building work at the cathedral. The 850-year-old gothic masterpiece had been undergoing restoration work.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, attended the scene and later gave a speech in which he vowed that the cathedral would be rebuilt, as fire crews said the landmark’s rectangular bell towers and structure of the building had been saved, Iran Press reported.

Macron said “the worst had been avoided” thanks to hundreds of brave firefighters who battled for hours and who would continue working through the night. One firefighter was severely injured but no other casualties were reported.

President Macron added: “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, part of our psyche, the place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicenter of our lives ... So I solemnly say tonight: we will rebuild it together.”

 

Thousands of Parisians – many in tears – watched as vast orange flames soared from the roof for hours, threatening one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of France. There were gasps on the southern bank of the river Seine as locals watched fire sweep across the roof, which slowly caved in.

By 7 pm local time, flames had burst through the roof of the cathedral and quickly engulfed the lead and wood structure of the cathedral’s spire, which collapsed.

The 12th-century cathedral is home to priceless works of art and is one of France’s most famous tourist attractions, immortalized in Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It attracts about 13 million visitors a year from around the world.   211/104

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