Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is on fire
A massive fire has engulfed Paris' famous Notre Dame cathedral, which was built in 1160 and completed in 1260.
The blaze was first reported at 5.50pm (GMT) and the monument was evacuated shortly afterwards, according to a spokesperson for the cathedral. The cause of the fire is not known, but officials in Paris say it would be linked to recent renovation work. The French newspaper Le Monde reports that the flames began in the attic, then spread to the roof.
Photos and videos spread on social media showing enormous plumes of smoke billowing from the famous French Gothic architecture. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, described it as a "terrible fire" and urged residents to stay behind the safety perimeter set up by officials.. Firefighters are currently battling the blaze.
Every year, nearly 12 million people visit Notre Dame, which means 'Our Lady' and is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris. The 12th century monument has been undergoing $6.8 million renovation work.
"So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris," tweeted US President Donald Trump. "Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!"
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.