Notre-Dame has been saved from total destruction after a blaze ripped through the cathedral, French fire services have said. Flames broke out at the 12th century historic building on Monday evening, quickly devastating the spire and roof and sending plumes of black smoke into the sky.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "so sad tonight to see this part of all of us burn" and declared a national emergency. Speaking from the scene in Paris, he expressed sympathy with Catholics "around the world" following the "terrible tragedy" but added the worst had been avoided.
Video filmed by witnesses showed the moment the historic landmark's steeple was consumed by flames before toppling over. Hours later the area where the spire had once been was still burning with sparks falling from the cathedral's vaulted ceiling.
In 2016, A cell of radicalised French women guided by Islamic State commanders in Syria was behind a failed terrorist attack near Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral last weekend and planned another violent attack this week before they were intercepted by police, the Paris prosecutor has said.
The women, aged 19, 23 and 39, were arrested in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, a small town 19 miles (30km) south-east of Paris, on Thursday night after they were linked to the discovery of a car packed with gas cylinders parked near the cathedral last weekend. Officials said the women had been planning an imminent violent attack on the busy Gare de Lyon station in Paris and were stopped after a police and intelligence operation described as a “race against time”.
This fire may have been sparked by construction that has been going on, as of now, no one is really sure. MORE LATER